Tel Tzova (also Tzuba) – Ruins of a Crusader Belmont Castle and an abandoned Arab village in the Judean Hills. Beautiful view of the surrounding hills.
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Today Kibbutz Tzuba on the outskirts of Jerusalem houses a variety of attractions and industries, such as the children’s amusement park called Kiftzuba Family Entertainment Center , the Hotel Tzuba – formerly “Belmont” Hotel and Ein Zova.
But three thousand years ago, Tel Tzuba was an ancient Jewish town during the time of King David; some historians believe that the town dates back to the time of Joshua Bin-Nun, believing it to be the town of Tzores mentioned in the book of Joshua. In the days of Joshua (12th century BCE) there was a Jewish settlement here.
The Crusaders built a fortress in 1170 run by the Hospitallers to guard the route to Jerusalem. They named it Belmont, meaning beautiful hill. From the road, go up the main path. In a few minutes turn left at the sign. Go up the steps and follow the trail. You will be passing a thick Crusader wall. Continue on the trail through the ruins of the village. Be careful as you walk through the ruins. There are many pits which were used as water cisterns. It is possible to climb up to the roof of the nearby building to get a panoramic view of the area. Be very careful.
In 1191 it was captured by the Ayyubid sultan Saladin.
It was destroyed in 1834 by the Egyptians when Arabs from nearby Abu Gosh rebelled.
Until 1948 there was an Arab village on the site. In 1948 the Arabs were hostile to the Jews. They participated in the siege of Jerusalem by ambushing convoys and assisting the Arab Legion fighting for the nearby strategic hill – the Castel. In July 1948, the Palmach conquered this village with the assistance of the frightening sound of the famous Davidka mortar shell.
By the entrance to Tel Tzuba, two ancient trees still stand: an 800 year old oak tree and a 1200 year old olive tree.
There is no entrance fee. Parking is free.