Emmaus during the Crusader Period (1099-1260)


1099 AD

During the First Crusade, the Christian army  spends one night at Emmaus on its way to Jerusalem.

During the 12th c.

Crusaders identify the region of Latrun as Modi’in and they venerate here the tombs of the Maccabees.  Qaryet el-‘Einab (today’s Abu Ghosh) is erroneously identified as Emmaus-Nicopolis. Pilgrims pray here at the “spring of Emmaus”.


A Russian pilgrim, Abbot Daniel, describes Emmaus near Ramla as destroyed “by the infidels”.


The castle of Latrun (“Le Toron des Chevaliers”) is built.  The Basilica of Emmaus (Amwas) is rebuilt by Crusaders approximately at the same time.

ca. 1140

Crusaders build the church over the “spring of Emmaus” at today’s Abu-Gosh.


Knights Hospitaller acquire the “land of Emmaus”.


A Greek pilgrim Johannes Phocas visits Emmaus in the “land of Ramla”.


The castle of Latrun is occupied by Saladin. Emmaus (Amwas) is likely depopulated.


During the Third Crusade, Muslims partially destroy the castle of Latrun as the Crusaders advance. Richard the Lionheart spends Christmas here.


The region of Emmaus-Latrun is the scene of Crusader and Muslim military operations. Latrun finally becomes a fief of a Muslim emir and serves during all of the 13th century as a base for Muslim forces fighting Crusaders.