Written by: Ibrahim Hamzeh
Translated by: Lina Yahya Raydan
NNA – Tibnin historical Castle dates back to the Crusaders’ war time. It– with some restoration works– preserved its cohesion and elegance. A visitor standing on one of its towers can see the valley that stretches from Haryss village to Al-Sawan pond region at Shakra -Berachit villages crossing. The valley extends more than 7 km in length.
Nowadays, the Municipality is working to revive the Castle’s role through organizing some summer activities of which the last was a national lyric festival by Wissam Hamadeh.
Moreover, UNIFIL Units organize at the said Castle medal giving ceremonies.
Archeologist Engineer, Hassan Baddawi, says that Tibnin Castle is of the crusades’ ruins. It was built by the prince of Tiberias Hogaz de Saint-Homer.
However, a Norwegian officer working within the UNIFIL in south Lebanon said that the large stones at the base of the castle building blocks reveal the Roman style in the building.
But, the archeologist researcher Moussa Salman Yassine, refutes all this information based upon historical signs in the region and says that “Who built this castle is the son of Tyrone Aas, the son of Isaac, the brother of Jacob, the son of Prophet Ibrahim.”
He added that claims that the Castle is of crusaders ruins is not true, noting that “Crusaders might have restored it.”
Yassine noted that Tibnin town might have been named after the Virgin Mary, adding that tales say that She came to Tebnin Castle from the nearby Al-Yazoun region off the Castle from the west, where the Church is currently found.
While moving there, Virgin Mary saw a woman cooking and feeding her dog from the food before even touching it, She asked her, “Why do you feed the dog from your food while you can feed him from your leftovers?” the woman answered, “We feed those who protect us from our best food.” Then, Virgin Mary blessed the woman by saying in Latin, “Pinos rised – Terre Benin” which means in Arabic “a blessed woman – and a blessed land.” With time, people merged the words into one, Tebnin.
The Castle consists of a large circular entrance of almost a 10 Donum area. It also includes a reception, a guest room, and stables for horses, lower rooms and deep wells to collect rainwater. Moreover, there is a large tunnel in one of the rooms, tales say that it leads to the bottom of the castle and was used for running away, but no one dared to uncover its mystery, thus its secret remained unveiled.
The Castle has been restored many times. It is said that Salah Eddine Al-Ayoubi rebuilt it while on his way to liberate Jerusalem.
Speaker of the Parliament, Nabih Berri restored it in the year 1990, during president Elias Hrawi tenure.
Nowadays, Tebnin municipality oversees the maintenance and cleaning works at the Castle.
When they come to Lebanon, many Presidents and Diplomats affiliated with the UNIFIL visit Tebnin Castle accompanied by the President of Al-Kalaa Municipalities Union and Tebnin Municipality head, Nabil Fawaz, who tour the Castle with them. Recently , Minister of Culture Raymond Areiji paid the castle a visit.