Beaufort or Belfort Castle is a Crusader fortress in Nabatieh Governate , about 1 kilometre to the south-south-east of the village of Arnoun. There was a fortification on the site before it was captured by Fulk, King of Jerusalem, in 1139 and construction of the Crusader castle probably began soon after. Saladin captured Beaufort in 1190, but 60 years later Crusaders re-took it. In 1268 Sultan Baibars finally captured the castle for the Islamic forces.
Beaufort provides one of the few cases where a medieval castle proved of military value and utility also in modern warfare, as its late 20th-century history shows.
The castle was named bel fort or beau fort by the Crusaders who occupied the castle in the 12th century. Its Arabic name Qala’at al-Shaqif means “Castle of the High Rock”
It passed once more into the hands of the Arabs and in 1610 Fakhredin II, Emir of Lebanon, strengthened its fortifications and made it a storehouse for his treasures. It was largely destroyed by Jarkass Pasha. In 1629, Emir Fakhredin II asked plans for its reconstruction and restoration from the Grand Duke of Florence.
Battle of Beaufort: Beaufort Castle is a reflection Lebanon tumultous history, the castle’s strategic location, which affords a view of much of southern Lebanon and northern Palestine, has caused it to be a focus for recent conflicts. The Palestine Liberation Organisation(PLO) held the castle from 1976 onwards, during the Lebanese Civil War and consequentially it was attacked dozens of times by Israeli forces in the space of five years.
On 6 June 1982, at the start of the 1982 Lebanon War, the PLO position on Beaufort Castle was heavily shelled by the Israelis before it was captured by the Israeli forces two days later in the Battle f the Beaufort . The fighting caused damage to the castle, and in the aftermath the Israeli army adapted the site for their own use by building a large forward operations base adjacent to the fort’s western wall. in 2000, retreating Israeli army destroyed different parts of the castle despite appeals by the United Nations to spare the Crusader castle.