© The Lebanese UniversityPhotograph: Flaminia Baldwin,  © Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF)Photograph: Flaminia Baldwin,  © Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF)

Name of Monument:

Beaufort Castle

Other name of the Monument:

Belfort Castle

Name in original language:

Qal'at al-Shaqif


Governorate of Nabatiyya, Lebanon

Date of Monument:

12th century


In 1139, King Fulk of Jerusalem gained control of this area and begun the construction of Beaufort castle shortly afterwards. Although Saladin recaptured Beaufort in 1190, the castle was returned to crusader hands only 60 years later. In 1268 Sultan Baybars finally gained control of the fortress. However, the upper portion was destroyed by the Ottomans in the 17th century, as they sought to quash Emir Fakhr al-Din II, who had taken the castle as part of his network of fortifications. Following the Galilee Earthquake in 1837, which caused considerable damage to the structure, the castle was abandoned and its ruins were used by local farmers to shelter sheep, and as a quarry.


The Beaufort Castle was a crusader castle located near the town of Nabatiyeh, in South Lebanon. The castle was named "Bel Fort" or "Beau Fort" by the Crusaders in the 12th century. Its name in Arabic is Qal'at al-Shaqiif, meaning Castle on the High Rock. The castle was also used for military purposes in the 20th century, particularly during the civil war, due to its strategic location.

Citation of this web page:

Julien El Khoury, Jeff El-Msanne "Beaufort Castle" in "Sharing History", Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://sharinghistory.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=monuments;AWE;lb;52;en

Database entry origination:

Prepared by: Julien El Khoury, Jeff El-Msanne
Copyedited by: Flaminia Baldwin

MWNF Working Number: LB 059

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