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Marqab castle

Marqab castle


This imposing black basalt castle dominating the Mediterranean on one side and the mountains on the other was built by the Arabs in the 11th century, and like other castles in the region pased from one entity to the next until in 1186 it was sold to the Hospitallers. They used new techniques in military construction and under normal circumstances when fully manned should have been impregnable. But by the 13th century there were not enough volunteer knights coming from Europe and by 1271 most other Crusader forts had fallen and their holdings had been seized. In 1285 a sustained seige by the Mamluk Sultan Qala’un brought down one of the towers and the knights surrendered - given safe passage to Tartus, which itself fell 6 years later bringing to an end the Crusader presence in the Holy Land