Courtesy Apollonia-Arsuf Excavation

Apollonia-Arsuf, a town on the Mediterranean coast, had a remarkable castle (at bottom right in the photo). Near the town was a forest that was the location of one of the celebrated victories of Richard I (the Lionhearted) against Saladin. In July of 1191, Richard had captured Acre, and was marching south toward Jaffa, when Saladin’s army attacked. The Muslim forces were easily defeated and suffered heavy casualties. Although a victory for Richard and his men, it didn’t stop the Muslim armies. Their renewed military action after the Battle of Arsuf eventually forced Richard to abandon his ultimate goal of capturing Jerusalem.