This 1,000-Foot-Long Secret Passage Was Built Below Israel – And Forgotten About For 700 Years

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Image: Geagea via The Vintage News

It’s the time of the Crusades, and Christian forces in Acre are all too aware that an attack from Muslim armies may be just around the corner. There are certainly no guarantees that the Christians will hold onto the Israeli city, either, despite the fortifications they have built up. So, one of the Crusaders’ military orders, the Knights Templar, decide to build themselves a secret escape: a passage beneath the bowels of Acre that leads in turn to the ocean. And the tunnel itself is so well concealed that it ultimately remains undiscovered for 700 years…

Image: Francisco Pradilla Ortiz

But before we dive into the unearthing of the subterranean passage, let’s turn first to the Crusades themselves. As many know, these conflicts were largely motivated by religion, with western European Christians pitting themselves against Jews and Muslims from the Middle East in a bid to wrest command of the Holy Land. Millions ultimately died as a result of the bloodshed, and a number of settlements were utterly decimated in the process.

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Image: Mussklprozz

And the series of skirmishes have their origins in an epochal event that took place in the winter of 1095. During that period, Pope Urban II assembled the Council of Clermont – a group composed of both Roman Catholic members of the clergy and non-ordained men of the same religion – in the south of France. What’s more, the fruits of their conversation would go on to spark arguably the darkest chapter in Europe’s history.

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