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Perhaps the most famous Crusader castle, it is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the world. The castle is located to the east of Tartus in the strategically important Homs Gap. Krak des Chevaliers became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.

The site of Krak des Chevaliers was occupied first in the 11th century CE by Kurdish troops. A century later, the site came under control of the Knights Hospitaller who began rebuilding the structure in the 1140s. A second phase of building began in the 13th century CE, in which the structure became a concentric castle, meaning it had concentric curtain walls with a higher inner wall. The layout of Krak de Chevaliers is an irregular polygon. The castle would have been surrounded by a burgus or suburb, but there are no visible remains of this.

The castle is archaeologically important for its excellent preservation, and was referred to by T.E. Lawrence as the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world.” Interestingly, it is also one of very few examples of a structure featuring Crusader art. Frescoes have been preserved in the interior and exterior of the main chapel.

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