To the east of the Israeli coastal town Netanya and only 6 kilometers northwest of the city of Tulkarm, Qaqun was originally a Palestinian Arab village, the only entrance to the Nablus mountain of the Sharon coastal plain. In the region, evidence of a settlement in Qaqun dates back to the period of Assyrian rule. We can observe in particular the ruins of a castle of the Crusader period and Mamelukes that still stand on the site. This place of pilgrimage is situated not far from other places, in the north west of Qaqun we can found the Promontory Palace, the Caesarea Hippodrome or the Theatre of Caesarea.
The team of 360HolyPlaces™ visited this place for you with an embedded 360° camera !
Assyrian ruins were discovered on the site of Qaqun. Among these are fragments of steles recording the victory of Sargon II on the Philistine city-states in the 8th century BC.
In the 1st century AD. AD, one of the relatives of the Herodians, Antipas, was granted dominion over vast tracts of land. It was a piece of land in the Sharon Plain that included Qaqun, among other villages.
The remains of a castle dating from the period of the Crusades are still observable today. It was mentioned in 1123 when apparently again was held by the lord of Caesarea, John Aleman, in 1253. In 1160, Benjamin de Tudela visited Qaqun which he identified as the ancient Keilah.
In the mid-13th century, Qaqun was captured by the Mamluk Sultan Ruqn al-Din Baybars. Under Mamluk rule, Qaqun remained the capital of one of the six districts which constituted the province of as-Sham, the Mamluk administrative unit for part of the government of Mamlakat Gaza, one of the three Mamluk administrative governorates The other two being Mamlakat Dimashq (Damascus) and Mamlakat Zafad (Safed), Qaqun and Lyyda seemed to be independent provinces later Baybars had ordered the reconstruction of its fortress, the renovation of its church, the construction of a mosque, The restoration of its markets and the creation of a shopping center with a caravanserai for merchants, travelers and their animals. The construction of the Crusader fortress, both the fortress and the Qaqun mosque are now thought to have built during the reign of Baybars, which also built the administrative center and the big market there. In December 1271, Baybars was fighting the Mongols in Aleppo, the crossed forces of King Edward attacked Qaqun, but were quickly fought by the forces of the Mamluk emirs. At the end of the thirteenth century, Via Maris was moved eastward inward in order to improve the line of defense, the coastal cities of Palestine being the first to fall into competing powers that sought to extend their field. The route followed the coast of Sinai, passing through Al-Arish, Rafah, Khan Yunis and Gaza. There, one branch turned east towards Jerusalem to Hebron while another passed through Beit Hanoun to Ramlah by Daris and continued northward to Lydda, through Jaljulia and Tira to the center of Qaqun. From Qaqun, the road branched in two, one leading to Jenin and the other to Wadi Ara. Many of these places were villages that had khans built there in the 14th century. The Khan of Qaqun was built on the orders of Mamluk governor Sanjar al-Jawli in 1315 and, under Mamluk rule, khans like that of Qaqun were used by messengers on horseback, part of the postal network on the Gaza road -Damascus. Al-Qalqasandi († 1418) mentioned Qaqun as a pleasant but not particularly prosperous city, with a mosque, a bath, a beautiful fort and wells.
At the beginning of the Ottoman reign in Palestine, the income of the village of Qaqun was designated in 1557 for the new waqf of Hasseki Sultan Imaret in Jerusalem, established by Haseki Hurrem Sultan (Roxelana), the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent. In 1596, Qaqun was the center of HISTORY of the nahiya (sub-district) of Qaqun under the Nablus district and it had a population of 127. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat and Barley, as well as on goats and hives. During the campaign of Napoleon in 1799, the French forces beat the Ottoman troops that had been sent to Qaqun to stop their advance towards the Acre. Pierre Jacotin named the village Qaqoun on his map of the same campaign. In the 1830s, the inhabitants of Qanqun participated in the revolt against Egypt, and were destroyed by the army of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt during his Syrian campaign (1832-1840). At the end of the 19th century, Qaqun was described as a large village built around the central tower of Crusader / Mamluk fort. His houses, made of stone and mud, were scattered over the surface of a hill. There was arable land in the surrounding area. Claude R. Conder writes that he saw a Crusader tower in Qaqun during his visit.
Click on the link below to see the video of Qaqun in Virtual-Reality 360°.