, 7 , PICTURESQUE PALESTINE.
-nr hence to the north, SO as to enter the town by that side, and in so doing visit a site
which may aid in identifying the place Khtirbet Gat. The name is well known and reco-ni^d
by the fellahin, who point out the hill to the north-west of Beit Jibrin, full of old foundations,
and well adapted for a fort* Gat Of this more anon. No place in South Judaea contain*
so many and such varied remains as Beit Jibrin. The modern town is of some extent, though
shrunken indeed within its ancient limits. There are, perhaps, one thousand inhabitants, of a
different type from the fellahin, large-made, muscular, bold and insolent, but industrious and
enterprising, and comparatively rich. The father of the present sheikh, Azazeh, was a
ul, del. int of Turkish authority, the terror alike of his own people and of the country around.
I he ire told of him surpass in bloody crime even the hideous tales of Je
r h) p |( If he heard of a man having married a handsome wife he would send
the couple, and, if the hapless girl pleased him, would cut clown the husband without a
and tell her that as she was now a widow he should take her. It is only since his death that
lers from Hebron | fce page 196) or travellers have ventured here. The sheikh's castle
near the ancient fortress, and built of its materials (see page 177). The old citadel, round
which the modern town clusters, has been enclosed by a wall of massive masonry, ami is
probably Crusading, as polished shafts and marble capitals of the (ineco-Roman period
.1 built into the walls, and many broken columns are still standing in situ in the COUrtyardl
the modern hovels. The citadel has been about six hundred feet square, and round the
walls on the inside were rows of arched vaults, many of which arc still perfect and
inhabited. In the centre <>f the area is the Crusading keep of similar masonry, but which has
n partially ruined, r< I by die Saracens, and now again a ruin, with massive arched
chambers, and a splendid crypt chapel, the groined roof of which still remains. Not tin: l<
Interesting and useful relic of the past is a noble well, probably Roman, of unusual dianv
d with most beautiful masonry, and apparently about onv hundred feet deep, still affording
an abundant supply of water. These are the remains of Ileto-Gabra, the "house of Gabriel"
Syro-Greek name, changed by the Romans to Eleutheropolis, which, though now compfc
lost, was retained as late as the beginning of the ninth century, when the Saracens desl d it.
Though fell 1 a short day's journey to the north (see page [61), Is a more favourite
mant for the honour, I have always inclined to the belief, when I look at the massive and
certainly Crusading masonry, that this is not only Beto-Gabra and Eleutheropolis, but also the
Blanchegarde of ihe Crusaders, the celebrated outpost, which is surrounded by a ha!
e from the heroic and almost miraculous adventures and single-handed feats of OUT own
lion hearted Id Round it circle the most romantic of the tales of the Crusa
es Safy then' is scarcel) u ^f a ruin, however strong the natural position, and if 1
walls be not Blanch , what are they? We observed one very Interesting relic which
ma] I hint as to the antiquity of the place. Lying near a well, a little outside the vi.
rinthiant capital in the style of the best period, but In theo ' the
cornice, instead iA^ the acanthus leaf, was sculptured the seven golden candlesticks, exactly ol