Krak des Chevaliers, Syria

The Krak des Chevaliers (French for "Fortress of Knights"; Arabic: Qala'at Al-Hosn) near Homs in Syria is a popular tourist destination that was declared a World Heritage Site in 2006. Author Paul Theroux described it as the dream castle of childhood fantasies, while T.E. Lawrence called it "the finest castle in the world."


History of Krak des Chevaliers

The remarkably well-preserved Crusader castle looks almost exactly as it did during the Crusades. Built and expanded between 1150 and 1250, it eventually housed a garrison of 2000. The castle guarded the only major pass between Antioch in Turkey and Beirut in Lebanon. It held out against several attacks, but was lost to the Mamluk Sultan Beybar in 1271.

What to See at Krak des Chevaliers

The castle has two parts: an outside wall with 13 towers and an inside wall and keep. The two are separated by a moat which was used to fill the baths and water the horses, but is now full of stagnant water.

Through the main entrance (an imposing gate in the 16ft-thick wall) and past the towers that defended the castle is a courtyard. A corridor covered in delicate carvings leads to a large vaulted hall containing an old oven, a well and some latrines.

The chapel in the courtyard was converted to a mosque after Sultan Beybar took over, and you can still see its minbar (pulpit).

The top floor of the Tower of the Daughter of the King is home to a café with great views.

Quick Facts on Krak des Chevaliers

Site Information
Names:Krak des Chevaliers · Qala'at Al-Hosn
Categories:castles; ruins; World Heritage Sites
Status: ruins
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:34.757088° N, 36.294633° E
Hours:Apr-Oct: 9am-6pm

Nov-Mar: 9am-4pm
Lodging:View hotels near Krak des Chevaliers
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Terry Carter, Lara Dunston, and Amelia Thomas, Lonely Planet Syria and Lebanon, 3rd ed. (July 2008), 133-35.
  2. Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din - UNESCO World Heritage List (2006)
  3. Traveler Reviews of Krac des Chevaliers - TripAdvisor

More Information

© A travers
© Galen Frysinger
© Galen Frysinger
© Galen Frysinger
© Galen Frysinger
© Richard Beck

Map of Krak des Chevaliers, Syria

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