Krac des Chevaliers, transliterated Crac des Chevaliers, in the Middle Eastern country of Syria, was a Crusader fortress that today is considered one of the most important preserved medieval military castles in the world.

A section of the inside of the old Crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers in Syria. May 7, 2008.

A section of the inside of the old Crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers in Syria. May 7, 2008.

The Crac des Chevaliers was built by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem from 1142 to 1271. With further construction by the Mamluks in the late 13th century, it ranks among the best-preserved examples of the Crusader castles. It attained UNESCO World Heritage status in 2006. Located east of Tartus, Syria, in the Homs Gap, it sits atop a 650-metre-high hill along the only route from Antioch, a town in southern Turkey but which was once an ancient commercial centre and capital of Syria, 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 (present-day Greece, Turkey and Israel & the Palestinian Territories).

The view of the Syrian countryside from an opening of the Crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers. May 7, 2008.

The view of the Syrian countryside from an opening of the Crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers. May 7, 2008.

Inside one of the cavernous corridors of the old Crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers in Syria. May 7, 2008.

Inside one of the cavernous corridors of the old Crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers in Syria. May 7, 2008.

A section of the external wall of the Crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers in Syria. May 7, 2008.

A section of the external wall of the Crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers in Syria. May 7, 2008.

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