KRAK DES CHEVALIERS
Krak des Chevaliers is the most spectacular but least known medieval castle in the world. 65 km (40 miles) West of Homs at 650 m (1985 ft) above sea level, it has unbelievable architecture and occupies a strategic location overlooking the Christian Valley (Wadi al-Nasarah). Krak Des Chevaliers is truly one of the unrivaled wonders of the world. This Crusader’s Castle of the knights – or Qalaat al Hosn as it is known in Arabic – is an unforgettable sight of grandeur. Any person approaching it cannot help but forget that they are living in the 20th century.
The gate, the narrow passages, the drawbridge, towers and tunnels carry your mind far away to the days of the Crusaders of the 11th and 12th centuries. Rebuilt by the Crusaders in 1142 AD (after originally being built by the Arabs in 1031) in order to keep control over the Arabs, it was finally captured under the leadership of Sultan al-Zaher Beybars in 1271 AD. It was built to accommodate four thousand soldiers and provisions to withstand a five-year siege and its vastness and state of preservation is breathtaking. Originally built by the Arabs in 1031 AD, the Crusaders took it in 1110 and held it until the year 1271 when they were evicted by King Al Zaher Beybars. The Citadel was badly damaged by several earthquakes, but repaired and refortified subsequently after each one. The dominating location and view clearly commands the routes from the inland, to the sea coast. The castle consists of two parts – one inner & one outer. They are separated by an inner moat surrounded by inner defensive towers. The palace and the church are centrally located and are an awe-inspiring sight with gigantic arches.