Woman Makes Shocking Discovery When Unclogging Her Drains

Have you ever had trouble with your drains? If you have, I bet you just called somebody to get it fixed and then you probably just carried on with life as if nothing had happened. Well, while that is the case for most of us, some people have a lot more adventurous encounters when they have trouble with their drains. That is the case of an Israeli woman back in 1994, whose issue with drains led her to the discovery of a forgotten secret 1000-foot-long passage.

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#20. The Crusades

Let’s go 10 centuries back to the time of the Crusades. The Christian forces in Acre knew they were close to suffering a Muslim army attack. Since there was no guarantee that the Christians would be able to hold onto the city, one of the military leaders of the Crusaders came up with the idea to build a secret escape passage.

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To understand the secret passage, it is vital that we go over the Crusades themselves first. The Crusades were a series of religious wars between Christians and Muslims. They were both fighting to gain control over the Holy Land that was considered sacred for both sides. As a result of the wars, millions of people died.

#19. 1095

The series of fights originated in winter in the year 1095. At the time, Pope Urban II brought a group of Roman Catholic members together with a group of non-ordained men in southern France. The assembly was called the Council of Clermont.

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Before this meeting, the Pope had been told that the Byzantine ruler needed Catholic help against the attacks that were coming from the Turks. At the council, the Pope urged people to help the Christians fight against Muslim soldiers. However, there was another goal behind this aid, and that was the interest in reclaiming the Holy Land.

#18. Two Centuries Of War

As a result of this, Christians from Western Europe headed towards the Holy Land to fight the Islamic forces. But it was clear that reclaiming the Holy Land wasn’t going to be an easy feat. After all, the Crusades ended in 1291, when the Muslims won the war.

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While the war lasted almost two centuries, the focus of this story begins in 1187. That was a year when the Christian soldiers had suffered quite the loss. They had lost Jerusalem to Saladin, the head of the Islamic forces. But while Christians had lost their base, they were not ready to give up.

#17. Backup

While the Christians had suffered the blow, there was a significant backup coming from France and England. Soldiers were ready to help their Crusader brothers regain their forces. King Richard I was among the people that were ready to assist the Christians towards their victory.

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As part of the help that came from overseas, the Third Crusade began in 1189. But the extra French and English help wasn’t enough for the Christians to take back Jerusalem. While their situation looked quite grim, in 1191 the Western forces claimed Acre, an Israeli city.

#16. Double Siege

The claiming of Acre was a big win for the Crusaders because they had already been trying to take it back since 1189. With the help of the King of Jerusalem, the French surrounded the city with their forces. But despite this initial success, the Crusaders ended up blockaded by Muslims.

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This was the only double siege that took place during the Crusades. In other words, those that besieged the city initially found themselves sieged. It took the effort of both England and France to break the situation whereby no side could make any significant progress.

#15. The Knights Templar

While claiming Acre wasn’t the ultimate victory for the Crusaders, it definitely was a big temporary win because now they had another base of operations. Acre had a strategic location, as it was right at the edge of the Levantine Sea. But while Acre had great importance, we need to analyze a military order called the Knights Templar

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The Knights Templar was one of the various religious military groups that rose during the Crusades. Other orders that are worth mentioning are the Knights Hospitaller and the Teutonic Knights. These groups decided that their task was to safeguard the Holy Land.

#14. Every Perfect Gift

The group of the Knights Templar was formally recognized in 1139 when Pope Innocent II issued the papal bull (a public decree issued by the Pope) Omne datum optimum, which in case you were interested is Latin for “Every perfect gift”. In this decree, the Knights Templar were offered the protection of the Pope.

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However, this decree also gave the Church the right to keep any treasures that the Knights Templar acquired during the time in the Middle East. The group’s base was next to the Temple of the Lord on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, which was supposed to be sitting on top of the remnants of the Temple of Solomon.

#13. Not That Poor

The Knights Templar were also known as The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon and while their name suggests that they were “poor”, they weren’t for the most part. Their cause was very popular in Christian countries, which meant that they gained support fast.

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As they became more influential, money and land started coming their way. The Knights Templar wore a white dress on top of their clothing that was loose and decorated with red crosses. This became their signature look and while they meant to be recognizable, the colors of their robes were symbolic.

#12. Color And Meaning

To start with, the white was supposed to represent modesty and abstinence, qualities that were related to the cardinal virtue of temperance. The scarlet crosses, on the other hand, were a marker of martyrdom. The order believed that those that died during the battles would be guaranteed heaven.

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Not only were they recognized by their robes but they were also noticeable by their facial hair. The Knights Templars started to be identifiable by their whiskers. In fact, a French monk referred to the group as the order of bearded brethren.

#11. Skilled Fighters

I bet that at this point you probably think that the Knights Templar were mostly inclined towards religion and while this is very true, they were also very skilled warriors. Their skill was very evident during the Battle of Arsuf in 1191, as templar troops had a big role in the Crusaders’ triumph over the Muslim army.

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It should be noted, however, that the knights made up 10% of the group. Most of the Knights Templar had another skill that didn’t involve fighting, and that was financial management. You might be a bit shocked, but the Knights Templar has been credited for creating a basic version of the banking system.

#10. Money And Skill

At this point, I know what you’re thinking. The Knights Templar were good at gathering support for their religious causes, they could fight well during combat, and they were also good with money… they were practically undefeatable! Well, apart from all these things, they were also adept in the art of construction.

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Owing to their influential power and their financial means, the Knights Templar were the ones that made the hundreds of fortifications possible, some of which are still standing today. Interestingly, it was the Knights Hospitaller that became associated with Krak des Chevaliers, one of the most famous Crusader landmarks.

#9. Krak Des Chevaliers

Krak des Chevaliers would become a strategic defensive stronghold due to the location. The castle was built on a hill that was 2,130 feet tall. Furthermore, the area where Krak des Chevaliers was built was called the gateway to Syria given its geographic location: it sat between various mountains, right near to Syria’s southern border.

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Given the strategic placement, the Hospitallers decided to make the castle Krak des Chevaliers their administrative area. Having this role, the order set the task to make the castle’s region one of the best Crusader fortresses. This is what led people to know the structure as being a brilliantly designed fighting machine.

#8. Best Preserved In The World

To make further emphasis on how Krak des Chevaliers had an amazing structure, you should know that to this day the castle is practically intact. It is probably one of the best-preserved castles in the world and certainly one of the most admired ones.

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Having said that, we need to go back to Acre, the Templar hub that the Crusaders took over. Once the order had set up their base in Acre and established their administrative center in Krak des Chevaliers, they knew that if the Muslim forces attacked, they could easily lose everything. Therefore, the order had to come up with a way to defend their newly acquired territory.

#7. Reinforcements

Even though Acre already had good defense measures such as their tall walls, the Templars thought that the city needed to be further reinforced. They wanted to build a fortress that would be impossible to penetrate. Thus, in the southern part of Acre, the group began to work towards their goal.

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The structure that they came up with was very impressive. It was described as being the strongest one in the city. The entrance of the fortress was protected by two huge towers whose walls were 28 feet thick. On either side of these towers, they built two smaller ones.

#6. Not Just A Fortress

However, while the fortress was imposing and as strong as ever, that wasn’t enough for the Templars. They also decided to build a subterranean passage below the main building. The idea was that if Acre was attacked, that the Templars could still escape through a tunnel underground and come out at the city’s port.

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Additionally, the secret passage was ideal in the case that Acre was besieged because the people living within the castle would be able to go out and get supplies. However, their plan didn’t quite work out because in 1291 the Egyptian sultan Al-Ashraf Khalil along with his forces burnt Acre down.

#5. Forgotten And Found

Having been destroyed, Acre stopped having the significance and importance that it once held. It no longer had its impressive fortresses and defense mechanisms and as a result, it was forgotten for a long, long time. In fact, Acre and its past fortresses were forgotten for a few centuries until the mid-1990s.

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Acre began making headlines again due to its subterranean tunnel. It was in 1994 when a female resident noticed that there was an issue with her drains. Like most people, she called the plumber to see if they could solve the situation. But when the plumber tried to find the origin of the blockage, he found something a lot more interesting than just a drainage system.

#4. Survivor

Researchers came to the woman’s house and as predicted, they realized that the Templars’ tunnel was right below her home. After further excavations, they confirmed that the tunnel dated back to the Crusades. This meant that it was one of the very few architectural structures that had survived the Egyptian forces.

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The tunnel is about 1,150 feet long and it was constructed with stone. The technique used to construct it depends on which section you are looking at. The tunnel is blanketed by a layer of hewn stone, which means that it was chiseled. This layer is protected by a dome.

#3. Enlivening The Tunnel

Having made such a discovery, authorities were quick to order the restoration of the passageway. They wanted to ensure that it was in the best conditions, so workers deep-cleaned it and also added touches of the modern world such as electric lights.

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Having found such a discovery, it was a matter of time before the tunnel became a public attraction. This happened in August of 1999 when the secret passageway was finally fit for the public to experience. It was only the western portion that was open since the eastern one still had a lot of revamping to undergo.

#2. Come Explore

Finally, after eight more years, the Templars’ tunnel was fully accessible to explorers in 2007. You can still wander around it today, as so many people have done already. People that do tend to write their experiences in websites, where they share how astonished they were at the engineering skills centuries ago.

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While the tunnel is probably the best example of the architecture that survived the Egyptian forces given it remains almost exactly like it was back when it was built, everything surrounding it has undergone a lot of change. The 12th-century fortress has been completely destroyed and today, you can only see a lighthouse in its spot.

#1. Different Destination

The most significant change that the tunnel has undergone is that its eastern section leads out to a different destination. The original tunnel led to the anchorage of Acre’s port, but as you may expect, this port no longer exists.

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While the surroundings of the tunnel have undergone deep change, we cannot overlook the fact that the secret tunnel remains almost intact. Not only did it withstand all those centuries but it also had to survive the wars during the Crusades. Imagine if that one lady had never complained about her drains!

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