While some castles were built for war, it seems that Montfort, in Upper Galilee, was built for R&R.
There is a ruin in the Upper Galilee region of Israel by the name of Montfort Castle that was constructed in the mid-13th century by the Teutonic Order. Teutonic Knights were part of a German monastic order of Crusaders. Their primary function was to perform charitable services for Christians, such as starting hospitals and protecting Christian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem.
During a recent excavation of Montfort Castle, archaeologists have found evidence suggesting the Teutonic Knights stationed there were not responsible for defending the region or bolstering crusading forces, which leads us to ask, “What was their purpose?”
According to Professor Adrian J. Boas of the University of Haifa, lead archaeologist of the dig, they were playing board games. The team discovered a set of pieces for the board game Nine Men’s Morris, a game that dates back to the Roman Empire.
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