Qal’at Najm is a castle on the Euphrates near Manbij Syria. There is no known date for it’s construction, but it appears in Arabic texts as early as the 7th century CE. Additions to the original castle were made during the 12th and 13th century. It is believed that the castle site was also the site of an earlier Roman fort.
The castle is known to have changed hands throughout it’s history, and was held by the Umayyads, Hamdanids, and Mirdasid dynasties, as well as the Banu Numayr nomadic peoples. Eventually, the castle fell under the control of the governor of Aleppo.
Qal’at Najm is built at the site of a pontoon bridge between two islands that facilitated trade from Aleppo over the Eurphrates river. The castle is similar in style to the Citadels of Aleppo, Hama and Homs. Within the castle, the mosque houses a rare architectural feature, that of a double arcade overlooking the river. This feature is seen in very few mosques, one example being the Alhambra of Spain.