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Tebnine Castle

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Tebnine, Bint Jbeil district

Some 30 kilometers from Tyre, in the south, the Tebnine Castle is at the top of an 870-meter mountain. It was built during the Crusader period in 1104 by Hughes de Saint Omer, the governor of Tabaraya. Saladin occupied the castle after the battle of Hattin in 1187. His brother, King Adel, stayed there until 1229. The castle occupies a steep hill, in fact a Bronze Age tel, or mound, north of the village of Tebnine. It once had 12 rectangular towers, one of which had a dungeon. The castle, razed in 1266 by the Mamluks, was rebuilt 500 years later in the mid-18th century by a local Shiite sheikh during his struggle against Ottoman rule. He used the ruins of the medieval walls as a basis for his rebuilding campaign and thus the castle today mainly appears as an Ottoman construction. The fortress contains 9 towers and its architectural design is well preserved. The supporting wall and 4 towers are square or semi-circular in shape. The main entrance and temple's vaults remain, as does eastern side of a large tower with halls and supporting pillars. Its western front overlooks all the surrounding area. Tebnine is in the UNIFL zone. Foreign visitors will need to obtain a pass from general security.