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The Krak des Chevaliers, Homs, Syria | by Alessandra Kocman
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The Krak des Chevaliers, Homs, Syria

Krak des Chevaliers is a Crusader fortress in Syria and one of the most important preserved medieval military castles in the world. In Arabic, the fortress is called Qal'at al-Ḥiṣn (Arabic: قلعة الحصن‎). It is located approximately 40 km west of the city of Homs, close to the border of Lebanon, and is administratively part of the Homs Governorate.


The castle was made a World Heritage Site, along with Qal’at Salah El-Din, in 2006, and is owned by the Syrian government. The fortress is one of the few sites where Crusader art (in the form of frescoes) has been preserved.


The castle is located east of Tripoli, Lebanon, in the Homs Gap, atop a 650-metre-high hill along the only route from Antioch to Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of many fortresses that were part of a defensive network along the border of the old Crusader states. The fortress controlled the road to the Mediterranean, and from this base, the Hospitallers could exert some influence over Lake Homs to the east to control the fishing industry and watch for Muslim armies gathering in Syria.


The original fortress at this location had been built in 1031 for the emir of Aleppo.

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Taken on May 4, 2010