Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Temple of Rameses II

The Temple of Rameses II

At 300m from the temple of Seti I at Abydos, at the western end of the village of Beni Mansour, Ramses II built another temple for himself. This has also been devoted primarily to the worship of Osiris, but it was a more conventional than the temple of his father design. It was built when he was co-leader with Seti I. The walls of the temple of Ramses are reduced, now only about 2m high, but the plan of the structure is still clear to see. Biggest attraction of the temple are brightly painted reliefs which may be the best in any monument built by Ramses II.

Temple of Ramses II

The temple walls are built of limestone, with sandstone pillars. The first pylon and judiciary are now ruined and pink granite portal leads directly into a second courtyard surrounded by a colonnade of pillars Osirid on its north, east and south. No pillars are preserved to their full height and statues of King Osirid committed not everyone has the head and shoulders. The north wall of the courtyard is processions of priests and offering bearers with a bull decorated and gazelles, as well as soldiers, Libyans and Negroes. On the north wall there are some interesting graffiti. Some old amateur artist incised image of a god In-Hert and a painted front door priest him the inscription "Djed-IAH, the justified, WAB-priest of Osiris, Djedi-ankh-f '.At the end of the courtyard on the west side is a raised portico with two chapels dedicated to Seti I and deified ancestors of King chapels on the left and two to nine gods of the Ennead and Rameses II (and Osiris Khenty-Amentiu) on the right. The shrine of the ancestors once contained a table of kings on its north wall, part of which (the "second list of Abydos") is now in the British Museum.On the north wall of the portico carved Ramses new name rings Asian tribes he conquered. A beautiful bridge in polished black granite, 5m high and decorated with scenes and inscriptions, which was restored in the center of the portico leads into the first pillared hall.The first hypostyle was decorated while young Ramses was still co-leader of his father if his cartridges were then modified to contain its own pharaonic titles. Eight rectangular pillars that supported the roof is now gone. The decoration of the hypostyle hall is similar to that of the court and the portico, but a dado bright colors on the lower walls representing the gods of the Nile. These are painted in different colors, red represents the Nile flood, blue represents winter and green in the summer. At the west end of the south wall of the room, went up a narrow staircase to the roof, but there are only 12 remaining steps.

Reliefs in the west chapel

The second hypostyle has eight sandstone pillars with three chapels on each of the north, west and south. The chapels in the north are dedicated to Thoth, Osiris and Min. The chapels in the south are very badly damaged, but we think the central was dedicated to Osiris with a clothing room where everyday clothes of the god were stored. The chapels on the west side of the room were dedicated to Amun-Re, Osiris and Horus eventually. In the last sanctuary on the north wall, there is a colorful relief of "Mistress of Abydos" Hekat goddess, usually depicted as a frog, but in this case showing the human face. Apart from the Lord of the Sacred Lands it the god Anubis also has the head of a man rather than the usual jackal. This is the only known human-headed Anubis example.The central sanctuary on the west side of the hypostyle is the sanctuary "alabaster" of Osiris where you can see a group of restored gray granite statue was brought to another place in the temple and is (probably) Osiris, Isis, Horus, Seti I and Ramses II.In the corner of the west wall to the north and south are thought to be two bedrooms rooms statue also very colorful reliefs. Contain niches decorated and each room has a beautiful southern relief of Ramses offering to Osiris, which is protected by a winged Djed pillar. This is thought to be one of the first representations of a symbol that has become popular in the following dynasties.Only the lower parts of the exterior walls still exist and the north and west walls have a version of the Battle of Kadesh Rameses in the beautiful terrain incised, but not as complete as in some of its monuments later. On the south exterior wall, there is less of a festival calendar that lists the offers provided by royal grant to be presented on public holidays party. Under this Ramses describes his temple and seems to be specific in what remains of the text. It describes a tower of white limestone, granite doors and a sanctuary of pure alabaster which had to be beautiful in its time.Fragmentary king-list of the temple of Ramses II at Abydos. The top row keeps cartridges little known dynasties VII and VIII kings. The middle row shows those of Dynasty XII, XVIII and XIX, omitting some leaders as Hatshepsut, Akhenaten & Tutankhamun. (British Museum EA117)

Landmarks near

Northwest of the Temple of Ramses II in an area known as Kom es-Sultan was a temple in ancient mud-brick dedicated to the god-Khenty Amentiu front of the West ", which later became associated with Osiris as the god of death. It is uncertain whether Khenty-Amentiu was just as Osiris or a different god. Artifacts representing kings from the time of archaic dynasties of the Greco-Roman period have been found here, but little structure survives today. There was also a small temple Wepwawet around.It is likely that the area of ​​Kom es-Sultan was crowded with temples of the Middle Kingdom and the pilgrimage to Abydos was an important part of religious life with many kings adding to the Temple of Osiris. Buildings constituting the settlement area in northern Abydos dating from predynastic were found around Kom es-Sultan. Recent excavators found an old kingdom residential area southeast, which contains a street of mud houses with courtyards and a faience workshop with its kilns.Twelfth Dynasty king Sesostris III added a temple at Abydos collection at the western edge of the desert to the south of the temple of Seti, but nothing remains above the sands. Another cenotaph temple of Sesostris III was further west.Ahmose, the first king of the eighteenth dynasty, built a temple terraces and cenotaph against the mountains southwest of Abydos and also a small shrine to her grandmother Queen Teti-sheri. Long after his death, Ahmose was revered as a demi-god and oracle at Abydos with his wife Ahmose Nefertari.On the southwest side of the walls of the temple of Osiris Ramses II built a limestone "Temple Portal" which was probably the entrance to the area of ​​the ancient cemetery.Recent excavations (1996) Pennsylvania Yale Institute of Fine Arts discovered a small temple in limestone with high quality reliefs which was built in the XVIII dynasty by Tuthmose III. This temple is to the southwest of the enclosure Osiris Kom es-Sultan.A small temple built by Ramses I and now destroyed, was the temple of Ramses II and the temple of Seti.How to get thereSee the page on the temple of Seti I to know how to get to Abydos. The Abydos area encompasses the modern village of Beni Mansour on the north side and El Araba el-Madfuna (now called Abydos Arabet) on the south side. The temple of Seti lies between the two villages with the other monuments of the north and south which extends westward into the desert. The Temple of Ramses II is about half a kilometer north of the temple of Seti.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Gebel Silsil

Gebel Silsila

Gebel Silsila is the name given to a rocky gorge between Kom Ombo and Edfu where the Nile narrows and high sandstone cliffs come down to the waterfront. There was probably a series of rapids here in ancient times, dangerous to navigate, which naturally forms a border between the regions of Elephantine (Aswan) and Edfu. In pharaonic times the river here was known as Khennui, the "place of rowing. On the west side there is a large column of rock that has been dubbed "The Ratchet" because of a local legend that there was once a chain (Silsila in Arabic) which ran from east to west Banks. Arthur Weigall in his "Antiquities of Egypt" Silsila indicates that the name is a corruption of the Roman Egyptian original name for the city-Khol Khol, which means a barrier or border.
Gebel Silsila West
It is not surprising that by the eighteenth dynasty, the travelers had become accustomed to sculpt small shrines in the cliffs here, dedicating it to a variety of gods of the Nile and the river itself. Smaller shrines were cut by Tuthmose I, Hatshepsut and Tuthmose III, before Horemheb built his temple carved into the rock here, so much of the nineteenth dynasty or later kings left their mark in some way. Gebel Silsila became an important center of worship and every year at the beginning of the season offer flood and sacrifices were made to the gods associated with the Nile to ensure the well-being of the country for years to come.

Rock sanctuary Gebel Silsila
On both banks of the Nile, the massive sandstone quarries produced for the construction of monuments prolific eighteenth dynasty, first in small quantities and skills of workers increased, the stone has been widely exploited to build large monuments such that the colonnade of Amenhotep III in Luxor, Karnak temple of Amenhotep IV, the Ramesseum and Medinet Habu, to name a few. By Ptolemaic monuments built from Gebel Silsila sandstone most temples in Upper Egypt contained. Due to the holiness of the site, the sandstone was considered as having an additional holiness.

Gebel Silsila West Steep sandstone cliffs in the West Bank are crowded with graffiti, shrines and stelae, 33 chapels rock. Eighteenth dynasty saw the construction of shrines by Tuthmose I, Hatshepsut, III and Horemheb and Tuthmose Nineteenth Dynasty, Ramses II, Merenptah, Siptah, Seti II, Ramses III and Ramses V had developed steles engraved on the rocks. Seti I left a part hymn to the Nile and inaugurated two festivals, which have continued to be provided by Ramses II and Merenptah.

The stelae of Ramses III and Sheshonq
The most important deity depicted here seems to be Sobek the crocodile god, Lord Khennui "which with Haroeris (Horus the Elder) is one of the twin gods of Kom Ombo. As the Nile god Hapi also received a significant portion of the offer. The proximity of the site to Aswan meant that the triad of Elephantine Khnum, Satis and Anuket loved here. Tauret the hippopotamus goddess is also presented Gebel Silsila, especially in Speos of Horemheb.

Quarry
Towards the southern end of the west bank of the river, three sanctuaries were built by Merenptah, Ramses II and Seti I (north to south), with a wharf in front of them, but the tomb of Seti and dock were destroyed by an earthquake. These shrines are now more easily accessible by boat. To the north faces, extracts steep rock quarries that look like blocks of cheese slices contain mason marks, designs and other craftsmen of old securities operation. A staircase carved into the rock leads hope one side of these cliffs, disappearing at the top, leaving you almost blocked. There is however a rough rocky path that leads past "Le Cabestan" and the royal tombs.

Royal Shrines at Gebel el-Silsila West
The first monument here is a large stone stele at right angle to the river, built by Ramses III, dated the sixth year of his reign. The first of the royal shine was built in the first year of Merenptah and as the two were deeply embedded in the rock behind two columns and a cornice. The king is considered worshiping a variety of gods and registration is a Hymn to the Nile. To the south is a small stele of Merenptah where the king offers a figure of Maat to Amun-Re. Behind him stands the vizier Panahesy and another official. Unfortunately, in June 2012, the lower part of the stele was severely damaged by thieves trying to remove the rock.

Amenhotep I (left) and Stele of Merneptah (right)
The second sanctuary belongs to the beginning of the reign of Ramses II and also shows the king worshiping many gods. Queen Nefertari is seen in front of a figure of the hippopotamus goddess Taweret is dressed in a very unusual dress. South of the sanctuary Ramses is another small stele of Merenptah on which the king was joined by the high priest of Amon, Roy. A small statue of King Amenhotep I is located next to the stele.

Queen Nefertari before the goddess Taweret
The third place of pilgrimage and the sooner the group was virtually destroyed by an earthquake. It was built for Seti I and seems to have been in a similar style to the other two royal shrines.

Rock Shrines
Further north, visitors can see most of the cave sanctuaries, some with complex chapels containing statues of their respective owners and with beautiful ornate ceilings. Many of these shrines have been damaged by quarrying or earthquakes and are now open to the elements, but they can be seen from the wide path along the river bank. Shrines belong to government officials, priests, nobles and royal scribes of the time. There is also a Dynasty XVIII tomb belonging to Sennefer a libation priest of Thebes who was buried with his wife Hatshepsut. The tomb is now open to the sky, and the remains of five sitting together with hieroglyphic inscriptions, statues can be seen near the waterfront.

Tomb Sennefer
At the northern edge of careers There are three major rock-carved stelae of Ramses V, Shoshenq I and Ramses III (north to south). The stele of Ramses V, one of its greatest monuments known, contains an inscription dedicated to Amun-Re, Mut and Khonsu, Sobek-Re of Khennui. Shoshenq stela tells how King extracted here for its construction at Karnak in the 21 years of his reign. On the stele of Ramses III, the king offered a statue of Maat to Amun-Re, Mut and Khonsu.

The Speos of Horemheb
Horemheb was the last king of the eighteenth dynasty and he carved a large rock-chapel, or speos on the hill at the north end of the site. The chapel was dedicated to Amun-Re, and other deities who were connected to the Nile.
Speos of Horemheb

The monument consists of a front five separated by pillars of different widths, behind which is a long hallway with a cross-vaulted roof and a smaller oblong room, the sanctuary doors to rear. All the walls are covered with reliefs and inscriptions, some heavily damaged areas, but in others there are reliefs of very fine quality. Horemheb himself never completed speos, and later, the decoration was done by kings and nobles who carved their own stelae and inscriptions on the walls later.

Sanctuary and Vaulted Hall
The deities represented on the walls, in addition to Amun-Re, are Sobek as a crocodile, the ram-headed god Khnum of the First Cataract, Satet Elephantine, Anuket, goddess Sehel, Tauret as a hippo and Hapi, the god of the Nile. As well as those of Horemheb, cartouches of Ramesses II, Merenptah, Amenemesse, Seti II and Ramses III Siptah appear in relief.
Khnum, Tauret, Horemheb, Amun-Re & Sobek

On the south end wall, the benevolent goddess Taweret is rarely seen in human form, nursing the young King Horemheb. Behind her is a damaged figure of Khnum and left, Amun-Re and Sobek Kennui.
Horemheb's Victory over Nubia

The west wall is one of the most recognized reliefs of Horemheb, the triumphal procession "of the king after his victory in Nubia. Horemheb is shown seated on a lion-President laptop which is carried by twelve soldiers with plumes of feathers. At the front and rear of the king are his fan-bearers, the protection of Pharaoh sun. His entourage includes rows of priests, soldiers, a trumpeter and several groups of captured prisoners, all represented in a very natural style, almost echo of the Amarna period reliefs. The inscription above the king celebrates his victory over the people of Kush.
Stelae of Merenptah and Rameses II
Another important relief represents a list of four festivals Heb-sed of Ramses II in the 30th, 34th, 37th and 40th years of his reign, which were supervised by his eldest son, Prince Khaemwaset. The prince, known for his priestly wisdom and restoration works, appears in several places in the chapel, with his mother, the queen and the princess Asetnefert Bentanta and other privileged officials of the kingdom. Khaemwaset probably died before the 42nd anniversary of Ramses II was celebrated at Gebel Silsila as was done by the vizier Khay, which also has a presence in speos. Merenptah, the son and successor of Ramses II is represented on a stele with his wife and his vizier Asetnefert Panehesy worshiping Amun-Re and Mut. 
 
Figures in the Sanctuary


On the north end wall there is a niche with six figures carved in high relief, depicting (from west to east) the vizier Panehesy the goddess Maat, a relationship Amennakht male, a female singer related to "Hathor, "the god Ptah and finally Ra'y, female relationship with the title" Re singer. It is a rare relief where a private family is in the presence of the gods. Many other stelae and reliefs adorn the walls of the room, giving the names of the nineteenth dynasty of kings and their officials.

Figures Sanctuary
The sanctuary at the rear of the vaulted room contains seven severely damaged figures are supposed to represent Sobek Tauret, Mut, Amun-Re, Khons, Horemheb and Thoth. The side show a wide variety of gods and demigods walls, while the walls inside the door are reliefs of the Triad Elephantine Khnum, Satis and Anuket and Osiris and the scorpion goddess Selkhet. Tauret chairs a symbolic representation of the union of Upper and Lower Egypt.

Gebel Silsila East

Gebel Silsila East
The east bank of the Nile contains the most spectacular careers Gebel Silsila which were most used during the New Kingdom, particularly under Ramses II, which employs three thousand workers to cut stone for the construction of the Ramesseum on the west bank of Thebes. Many shrines and stelae were cut into the rock, too, and the names of the kings who worked in the quarries are certified by their officials who gave detailed accounts of their work....

  The inscription on a large stele of Amenhotep III records the transport of stone for the construction of a temple of Ptah. His son Amenhotep IV, who later became Akhenaten, also has a monument here on which he loves and that Amon extracted the stone obelisk to be erected in the Temple of the Sun at Karnak records. Stelae of Seti I and King Apries can also be seen. Among the caves and carved sandstone shelves, many remain unfinished Sphinx, both the RAM and the variety in human head, still anchored to the rock. At the foot of the hill, there are a number of small tombs carved into the rock. Ramses II built a temple at Gebel Silsila East, but it was destroyed.
Rock Stele at Gebel Silsila East

Unfortunately, bank career is now officially closed to visitors without special permission.

How to get there 
Gebel Silsila West can be reached by road from Edfu, following the river to the south for about 40km. A series of villages stroll through the green agricultural fields gradually giving way to desert. After the last village, the trail climbs steeply in the sandstone quarries. Alternatively, it may be possible to hire a felucca Edfu and Aswan can navigate the river and moorland to the bank for a visit to the monuments. A modern visitor center, but rather neglected was built Gebel Silsila West and tickets are sold for 25 LE. A guard will accompany visitors around the monuments.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Mosque of Aytmush al-Bagassi

Aytmush al-Bagassi Mosque


Early Mamluk period is architecturally the richest periods of archaic Islamic Cairo, many major buildings were erected during their reign.
This is due to the fact that the Mamluks began to build different styles of complex religious and educational influenced mainly by Spain, Iran and North Africa.
After the strict regulations Ayyubid, allowing to have a single main mosque congregation at one point, during the fourteenth century, the Mamluks allowed to build more complex demonstration of a wide range of styles and designs.
Many of these buildings have survived and are still in the early Islamic neighborhoods. Halfway Bab al-Wazir Street, near the Citadel Muhammad Ali, one of these examples can be found, but today it is in a rather poor state of repair.
However, the mosque of al-Aytmush Bagassi, built in 1383, is still used for daily prayer regardless of disrepair it is in. This is unusual in Cairo, and demonstrates the importance of religious buildings.

  

The mosque.

The mosque was at the time one of the most important buildings into account its location. Bab al-Wazir Street or Al Darb al-Ahmar road was a fashionable area during the reign of Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad and later in the 19th century due to the presence of Sultan Muhammad Ali at the Citadel, which has encouraged urban. expansion
 The road was also a thorny issue because it linked the Citadel Bab Zuweila, one of the ancient gates of the city.
Noticeable while walking down the narrow street are several older residential buildings, reflecting the beautiful 19th century architecture, built in the time of Muhammed Ali.
Going further north, one can not set up on a street corner Aytmush Mosque, just before the complex Khayer Bek and the Blue Mosque "Aqsunqur" located further down the road.
The mosque was built by the great circus "Amir" Prince Seif al-Din al-Aytmush Bagassi, which for a short period of time served as regent during the reign of Sultan Barquq.

 

The interior arches mosqueHorse shoe



 Horseshoe arches
 


 
The Sabil Kuttab and BASB al Wazir (Minister Gate).
The plan brings together the mosque complex, the mausoleum and Sabil-Kuttab into a single unit. The plan was unusual, plain form in both the form and decorations. It consists of a durqa'a a rectangular area covered by a flat plain foothills wooden ceiling with a central lantern and of course, the Qibla Iwan occupying about fifty square meters of a total of 250 square meters.
Qibla Iwan is a rectangular area in front of the durqa'a a sharp horseshoe arch. In the center is the mihrab with two ogival niches on its sides.
The main entrance of the mosque is located on the front of the street that leads directly to the covered courtyard. Regarding the secondary entrance, it was used for public services and services of the mosque.

 
The dome and the entrance to the mosque
The facade is richly decorated and surmounted by a ribbed dome that was common from 1360 to 1400. The recessed entrance is defined by the plain stucco, especially both sides side seats is a band of inscriptions. It is also topped with leaf motifs in the form of reverse heart. The interior of the mosque is characterized by its simplicity and the use of natural materials, the same as the exterior facades are also remarkably simple.
The minaret is located adjacent to the entrance as a landmark by emphasizing its location and the street line.
To the left, behind the mosque is the Sabil-Kuttab.
The Sabil (ablutary) is separated from the mosque, but can still be achieved both inside and outside. The trough is located behind the mosque, which can be reached by Sharia Bab al-Turba ("Gateway to the grave"), on the north side of the mosque, which was the site of an old door the city.
 

The mosque and its minaret

The adjacent building has a beautiful facade full of little details and unique.
The building is not in use today. It is connected to Bab al-Wazir "Door of the Minister" that separates Kuttab monument in front of the mausoleum of Tarabay al-Sharifi, another magnificent building with a huge dome carved.
The surrounding area is aligned with various monuments, one beside the other.
Face Tarrabay and Aytmush Kuttab remnants of Ayyubid Wall newly excavated the 12th century. This wall was planned by Salah al-Din to reach the old Fatimid city of "Al-Qahira" with the citadel and the aqueduct.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Al-Azhar Mosque

Al-Azhar Mosque
  Located in El Hussein Square, the Al-Azhar (the most blooming), established in 972 (361 H) in an arcade style shortly after the founding of Cairo itself, was originally designed by the Fatimid general Jawhar El-Sequili (Gawhara Qunqubay, Jawhar al-Sakkaly) and built on the orders of Caliph Muezz Li-Din Allah. Located in the center of an area teaming with the most beautiful Islamic monuments from the 10th century, it was called "Al-Azhar" after Fatama al-Zahraa, daughter of Prophet Muhammad (peace and prayers be upon him). He imitates both the Amr Ibn El-As and Ibn Tulun mosques. The first Fatimid monument in Egypt, Al-Azhar was both a meeting place for Shi'a students and through the centuries, it has remained a focal point of the famous university which has grown up around it. It is under Yaqub Ibn Cals that the mosque became a teaching institute. It is the oldest university in the world, where the first lecture was delivered in 975 AD. Today, the university built around the Mosque is the most prestigious of Muslim schools, and students are highly esteemed for their traditional training. While ten thousand students once studied here, today, university courses are conducted in adjacent buildings and the Mosque is reserved for prayer. In addition to religious studies, modern language schools medicine, science and abroad have also been added.

View outside the Al-Azhar Mosque
 Architecturally, the mosque is a palimpsest of all styles and influences that went through Egypt, with much of it having been renovated by Abderrahmane Khesheda. There are five very fine minarets with small balconies and intricately carved columns. It has six entrances, with the main entrance being the 18th Century Bab el-Muzayini (the door of the salon), where students were once shaved. This door opens onto a small courtyard and the Aqbaughawiya Medersa to the left, which was built in 1340 and serves as a library. On the right is the Taybarsiya Medersa built in 1310 which has a very beautiful mihrab. The Quaitbay entrance was built in 1469 and has a minaret built atop. Inside is a large courtyard that is 275 by 112 feet, which is surrounded by porticos supported by over three hundred columns of marble of ancient origin. To the east, the prayer hall which is larger than the courtyard and has several rows of columns. The Kufic inscription inside the mihrab is original, though the mihrab has been amended several times, and behind is a hall added in 1753 by Abd el-Rahman Katkhuda. At the northern end is the tomb of Jawhar El-Madrasa Sequili.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Temple at Nadura & Fortress

 Temple at Nadura & Fortress 

In Nadura, whose name means "The Lookout" name remains of a temple once locked in a Roman fortification are strategically perched on a hill, about 1.5 km north-east from the center of El-Kharga. The top of the hill, there are spectacular views of the Oasis with the monuments of Hibis Temple and el-Bagawat cemetery clearly seen in the distance.
View of the fortress Nadura

Regulation of Nadura is now buried and the two temples are badly ruined village, but the wall of the south entrance of the main temple can still be seen on top of the hill.
The Roman fortress Nadura
The main temple was built during the reign of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius in the second century AD. A door in the south sandstone ruin enclosure wall fronts a courtyard which contained three rooms of the temple. Another smaller entrance was through the north wall. Remains of the narthex on the west side of the structure can still be seen, but the vestibule and the sanctuary have now virtually disappeared, buried by sand. The facade of the narthex, typical of the era, had screens connected by walls and columns is decorated inside with figures and hieroglyphic texts.
Nadura Temple Northeast
Originally thought perhaps to be outposts of large and well-preserved Temple of Amun at Hibis, 2km north-west, it was difficult to know who these two deities temples were devoted largely due to the deterioration of the balance reliefs. Since the early explorers first documented the temple, speculation on specific deities honored here were widespread. There are some suggestions that the goddess Mut was chief deity of the temple as it appears in several reliefs, as does Amun, Khonsu, Ihy, Thoth and Bes, while others are associated with Amon Hibis, a local form of Amon worshiped Hibis Temple.
Nadura South Temple

In 2009, Yale University began its project Nadura Temple in order to provide a complete epigraphic documentation reliefs and inscriptions. They also started an archaeological and architectural site survey and clearance of the sanctuary area partly destroyed. The findings of the Yale project team so far are interesting in that it is now proposed from evidence of texture that the temple is more likely to have been dedicated to Khonsu, son of Amun and Mut as it dominates the reliefs, especially in a single terrain where the deity Amon stands before a place of honor.
King before Mut & Khonsu
A Coptic church was in the space outside the temple and the entire structure was then reused as a fortress during the Turkish and Ottoman Mamaluk. Remains of the second temple anepigraphic can be seen at the base of the hill to the main road.