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December 2021

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Krak des Chevaliers


The most famous medieval citadel in the world ,  Krak des Chevaliers (Qal'at Al-Hosn in Arabic) is 65 km west  of Homs  and 75 km  south-east  of  Tartus.

It was built in order to control the so-called "Homs Gap",the gateway to Syria. It was through this passage that Syria communicated with the Mediterranean.

In ancient times the importance of this strategic corridor was immense. It was of  crucial  importance  to  the Crusaders  and other  foreign  invaders in  their conquest of the coast. Conflict over the Krak des Chevaliers continued through the ages.  It was a fierce and bloody dispute , but in the end ,  Sultan Beybars managed to recover it in 1271 through a military trick after one month of fighting.


Krak des Chevaliers  was built on  the site of  a former  castle erected by the Emirs of Homs to accommodate Kurdish  garrisons ;  Krak is  a modification of the Arab word Qal'a, which means citadel. The citadel covers an area of 3000 square meters and  has 13 huge  towers,  in addition to many  stores, tanks, corridors, bridges and stables.  It can  accommodate  5000 soldiers with their horses, their equipment and provisions for five years.

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