Ofek Aerial Photographs Ltd.

A mighty Crusader fortress, now in ruins, protected the headquarters of the military order of Mons Gaudii, or Order of Montjoie. The photo looks to the west. The north-facing fortress reconstruction shows a Crusader complex surrounded by a massive wall with a number of well-built square towers. The focal point of the fortress was the large church and monastery known in historical sources as the Mons Gaudii church and then later as the Church of St. Samuel. Outside the walls of the fortified compound, the Crusaders built an inn for pilgrims, stable areas and two deep cisterns. The fortress and its mighty walls were likely destroyed by the Muslim commander Salah ed-Din near the end of the 12th century as he approached Jerusalem with his army.