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Join date : 2008-10-26
Location : Australia
|Subject: City of Tortosa Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:57 pm|| |
Crusader CitiesTortosa or Tartus (Syria):
Important Templar enclosure (fortified seaport) and one of the last abandoned (1291). Templars raided from island of Ruad (1300) and established a base on island, rebuilding its defences and stocked with a strong and large garrison. Isolated force and Mameluke fleet of 16 galleys besieged island (1302) - starved into submission; despite safe conduct negotiated, most killed or sent into captivity.
Templars granted lands by William, Bishop of Tortosa (April 1152) on which they built a castle; city head been temporarily captured and burnt by Nur ed-Din. Original castle held from bishop by a secular lord, Raymond of Maradea, but he lacked resources to make it viable, and granted by bishop (April 1152) confirmed in confirmation document (1157) by Raymond of Tripoli. Bishop ceded lands to Templars in northwest corner of city - large keep and buildings, flanking towers, postern-gate allowing access from sea; large keep set into large talus, separated by fosse from two rings of walls with 11 towers.
Templars received annual tribute from nearby Syrian Assassins (1152-.) of 2000 besants. Agreement with bishop gave Order authority over churches, chapels, and castles in and around Tortosa, and they were exempt from paying tithes. Agreement (1152) confirmed between Templars and Bishop (1163). Survived fall of Franks at Hattin (July 1187) and besieged by Saladin (July 1188) but held out. Order forbidden by Emperor Frederick II (1228) to carry out improvements and reinforcements nor to supply forces.
Templars concluded treaty with Kalarun, Mameluke Sultan of Egypt and Syria (1281 & 1282) - 10 years peace and no fortifications or repairs undertaken. Kalarun died (1290) and son succeeded - al-Ashraf Khalil.
Fall of Acre (1291) and Sidon - Tortosa abandoned (August 1291). Crusaders retreated to Arwad (island 3km off coast).
Remnants of: old city of crusaders, medieval walls, 12th century cathedral church of Our Lady of Tortosa (premier piece of crusader architecture).
"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."