Syria: Krak des Chevaliers Fortress
Krak des Chevaliers Fortress is an absolutely stunning crusader fortress and one of the best preserved and most-scenically located in the world. It’s one of Syria’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. While a fortification existed here from perhaps the 10th century, it was the Order of the Knights Hospitaller that built the impregnable fortress on a hilltop in 1140. By mid 13th century it was a major administrative center of the region and a military outpost, the fortress was further built up with another layer of concentric fortifications. The inner ward is surrounded by thick walls and tunnels, then there is an outer ward, a moat, and another layer of concentric defensive walls with huge towers. TE Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia called Krak des Chevaliers “the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world”. We had the entire fortress to ourselves, walking on top the medieval walls and through inner rooms and climbing to the highest points of the tower with spectacular panoramic 360 views.