Home Tylos to Thassos 2010 Salah ed-Din citadel a fabulous sight
Salah ed-Din citadel a fabulous sight
Written by Ammar Hammad   
Saturday, 03 July 2010 00:11

The Citadel of Salah ed-Din 

We left our hotel in Latikia and drove to Slonfeh. It's a mountainous town very similar to Kasab, nice weather and very lively during this time of year. We headed straight to the Citadel of Salah Ed-Din, a UNESCO world heritage site and a spectacular architectural design.

The Citadel of Salah ed-Din is strategically situated in the mountains off the Syrian coast, approximately twenty-five kilometers east of Latakia on the way towards Aleppo. It stands on a long ridge encompassed by two gorges on either side creating a grandiose presence amongst the surrounding forested landscape. 

While the site was probably first settled during Phoenician times in the first millennium BC, the bulk of what survives today is from the early 12th century, Crusader period, including stone walls, high protective towers, and the presence of a moat. 

The eastern section of the site is separated from the complex by a deep chasm that connects the two ravines. A thin piece of rock twenty-eight meters high is all that remains in the middle of this rift; it once supported a bridge that connected the two parts of the site creating the citadel's main entrance at one point in time. Salah Ed-Din overtook the fortress in 1188 in what is noted as one of his most successful military campaigns. Succeeding Ayyubid and Mamluk administrations developed a palace, mosque, baths, cistern and a madrasa in the heart of the site.

The Ayyubid and Mamluk sections of the castle were restored by the Aga Khan Historic Cities Program between 1999 and 2001. The site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006.

It's great to see another world heritage site, something Bahrain is aiming for by registering its 'Pearling Project' as a UNESCO world heritage site.

During our tour of the citadel we met a group of Saudi gentlemen who were interested in what we do and applauded us for taking these steps in promoting Bahrain and Syria.

After the tour, we rented an apartment for the night and went to have something to eat while watching the World Cup game betwen Brazil and the Netherlands. Congratulations to Netherlands, better luck to Brazil next time.

The team with the Saudi visitors 

Watching Brazil take on Netherlands