THE SYRIAN SERIES, DAY 3
AL MASHTAYAH – LATAKIA
Whats the craic with Krak with Syria. Before that though we took the short drive over to St George’s Monastry where we were given the pleasure of watching Sundays service but on a Saturday…
THE DATES THAT ARE BEING SAID HERE MAKE EUROPE SOUND LIKE IT WAS FOUNDED YESTERDAY!
We had planned to visit the 2 other churches, one built in 300AD and the other in the 1700s. Unfortunately both are closed when there is a service so it’s of to Krak des Chevaliers
WHERE IS KRAK DES CHEVALIERS?
Krak des Cheviliers
ST GEORGES MONASTERY
Apparently the original monastery was constructed by the Byzantine’s over the remains of a statue of the god Homerus. A newer church was then built in the 1700s and a further church again built at the top (1850) which is the only one still used to this day.
- HOTEL – Afamia Hotel & Resort, 8/10
- FOOD – Not sure but think it was chicken and mushroom sauce with a strong hint of lemon.
- ATTRACTIONS –
Krak des Chevaliers
Before heading into the castle, we drove just a few hundred yards beyond and visited the ruins of an old restaurant. This was in fact the restaurant where I would have visited before the war, it was an incredible shame as it had the best views of the castle.
DAILY TRAVEL STATS….
- Steps – 15,300
- Miles covered – 47.8m
KRAK DES CHEVALIERS
First inhabited by the Kurdish in 1030, the castle was held until 1142 before it was handed to the Knights of St. John (Hospitallers) by Raymond II. The castle could hold 2000 people but was never at its full capacity and from 1270s it was captured by the Mamlūk Sultan Baybars by way of a forged letter from the Hospitallers Lead Master causing a surrender, sneaky.
Founded in 3000 BC. Yes, 3000 BC (These numbers just amaze me) by the Arvadites it was held until 300BC when it surrendered to none other than Alexander the Great. There is also a stadium which rather than being built with imported stone was carved out from the ground. The site is now a prosperous farming area.
TARTUS & LATAKIA
We had a quick stop in Tartus to check out the old Crusader buildings. These are now used as homes for the locals and there was a point I thought I would be knocking on the door for a bed when our driver went missing. Tartus is also used as the Russian’s Navy Base. Of to the Afamia Hotel in Latakia.
- Perhaps the best preserved example of a Crusader fortress in existence today, a stunning example of Medieval military architecture.
- A castle in Syria built for the Emir of Aleppo in 1031 AD which became the headquarters of the famous Crusader Knights Hospitallier during the 12th and 13th centuries.
- Built to withstand a siege for up to 5 years, it was considered virtually impregnable after the Hospitallers extended the castle and gave it a new outer defensive wall.
Got a message from the tour operator who has said his bank has refused some of my money on the basis they are expired….£1320 no less! Turns out after getting a photo of the notes it’s not that they are expired but that they are Northern Irish!!🤣 this isn’t uncommon, even in England I have the same issue.
Plenty of action in this trip, it just wouldn’t be possible without a guide and driver!
Heading to Aleppo, the one I’ve been waiting for!! Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
To watch the video of my trip, head to my highlights on my Instagram.
- Have you been to Krak des Chevaliers?
- Do you enjoy history or is it a bit 😴?
Let me know in the comments below . . .