Castel National Park is one of many Israel National Parks, located on the road to Jerusalem, 8 km west of the city. It is on the outskirts of Mevasseret Zion, an upscale neighborhood in the Jerusalem hills
How to get there
On the way to Jerusalem, at Harel Interchange go towards Mevasseret and then to Maale Hacastel St, another right and left into Keren Kayemet LeIsrael St to the park’s parking lot.
It consists of a fortified summit at the site of the former Arab village of Al-Qastal.
"The convoy enter the city of Jerusalem axles shrieking and engines roaring"
Points of interest
If you are visiting Israel with your children, this is the perfect way to show them about how our country was born through the actual sites of important battles. The road that looks so peaceful as it winds up the Jerusalem hills, was 70 years ago the scenario of crucial battles for the liberation of Jerusalem during the War of Independence.
It was called Operation Nachshon, held in April 1948. Many battles, that took many lives took place here as Arabs and Jews fought for control of this site. It changed hands several times during the conflict and eventually remained in Israeli hands.
The national park includes a memorial for the Israeli soldiers who died there, including a monument designed in 1980 by Yitzhak Yamin and a memorial to the convoys that tried to break through the blockade of Jerusalem.
This fortress was built by the Romans, and was known as Castellum, to ensure the control of the road to Jerusalem. After the fall of the Crusaders, the Castel disappeared from history annals for several centuries.
Then an Arab village grew up around this spot and the muhktar's house was built on the hilltop, on the ruins of the Crusader castle.
Castel Fortress since the times of the Crusaders
Touring the site
The tour that takes approximately 3 hours can be done on a year-round basis. Walk through the trenches and the rooms where Crusader and Arab construction can be seen incorporating Israeli fortifications.
There are picnic facilities although no BBQ is allowed.
Eve of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Pesach 8 am to 1 pm
images for castel national park by avishai teichler
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