Metzad Ateret, or Qasr Atara is located in the Eastern Galilee adjacent to The Daughters of Jacob’s Bridge (Gesher Bnot Yaakov) over the Jordan River.
The name of the fortress is an enigma. Early Christians identified the city of Bethulia (Beit El) from the Apocryphal Book of Judith as the city of Safed. From here it led to additional mis-identifications by moving Jacob and his family to the Galilee, for instance Jacob’s Bridge, thinking that this is where Jacob crossed theYabok (Jordan) to meet his brother Esau. The Moslems called this ford Makhdat al Akhsan (The Crossing of Sadness) the place where Jacob heard that his son Joseph had died. Khan Job Yusuf is the well into which Joseph was thrown. The Cave of Shem and Ever, in Safed. Akko became Acre (Ekron). Baron Rothchild mis-identified Machanaim with Jacob’s crossing of the Yabok. Last but not least the Daughters of Jacob’s Bridge. In the 12th Century there was a nunnery in Safed named after Saint James. They received part of the customs and taxes paid at the St. James Ford. James was translated via the French Jaques to Jacob.