Qal’at ash-Shqif literally means Castle on a High Rock. The castle was
called Beaufort by the crusaders who took over the castle’s control in the 12th century.
Beaufort Castle History
Beaufort Castle was the stronghold of the Crusaders since its capture in
1139, and its commanding position atop the hill (at a height of 700 meters/2,296 feet) gave it
The castle changed hands from the Crusader, Reginald of Sidon, to Saladin
(founder of the Ayyubid dynasty) in 1190. In the 17th century, the Ottomans conquered the
castle and destroyed its upper areas. After an earthquake destroyed much of the castle in 1837,
it became a quarry and a sheep shelter.
Beaufort Castle is one of the few castles that had an active military role
in the 20th century. In 1976 the castle was a base of the Palestine Liberation Organization,
and they used it to fire rockets to Israel from there.
The castle was taken over by the Israeli forces in 1982, and was held as an
observation post by the Israeli Defense Forces until 2000. During this time the castle was
under attack, and it was further destroyed by the Israeli forces before their departure.
Restoration plans are currently underway. Visitors to the ruins can enjoy a
panoramic view of the surrounding area, which includes parts of Syria and Israel.
Qala’at ash-Shqif Map&Location
Beaufort Castle is located in Southern Lebanon, about 1 km
S-E away from Arnoun village. See bellow the location on the map:
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