Qal`at al Hisn Travel Guide

  • cwinding ountry road to the castle
    cwinding ountry road to the castle
    by Mel_H
  • view of the castle from the west
    view of the castle from the west
    by Mel_H
  • Things to Do
    by June.b

Qal`at al Hisn Things to Do

  • Krak des Chevaliers

    The best full views of this incredible architectural masterpiece (seen in the attached photo) are on the road just west of the castle. Make sure you stop for photos before you get close to it.IMPORTANT UPDATE: Krak des Chevaliers has suffered severe damage during the civil war between the Syrian government and the Free Syrian Army. More recently,...

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  • Krak Des Chevaliers (set 8)

    If ou come late in the morning or near noontime at the Krak Des Chevaliers, and you're into really seeing various parts of the castle, chances are you'll be ending up at one of the several tower's rooftops already late in the afternoon, which means, you'll be watching the golden sun going down as it sets down --- kind of beauty in serenity.Entry...

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  • The Dark Passageways of the Castle (set...

    The castle is best viewed outside, and best felt inside.The various passageways which are mostly dark and some undergrounds are kind of cold and eerie esp. when you're navigating them alone. But that's how you can have a feel of the place, you'll imagine how it was during the time of the Crusaders, you might get lucky hearing the sounds of horse...

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  • Views from the top of the castle

    The Krak Des Chevaliers is a marvel...but tha doesn't end there. Because it's situated 750m above the hill (or mountain?), you get also the whole package incuding the great view down below --- the town, villages and mountains around it.I've noticed some crosses on top of some structures, a church or chapel on one side of the town vis-a-vis mosque....

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  • The Dark Passageways of the Castle (set...

    Entry fee to the Krak Des Chevaliers is SYP150 ($3.3) and discounted for students at SYP15.Open from 9am til 6pm, but since it's November and winter I heard a warning sign and some men directing the tourists to the main entrance right before 4pm, so be aware of that.

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  • The Dark Passageways of the Castle (set...

    Entry fee to the Krak Des Chevaliers is SYP150 ($3.3) and discounted for students at SYP15.Open from 9am til 6pm, but since it's November and winter I heard a warning sign and some men directing the tourists to the main entrance right before 4pm, so be aware of that.

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  • The Dark Passageways of the Castle (set...

    Photos of the dark and underground passageways inside th Krak Des Chevaliers.I'm very curious and probing so I always make it a point to go further, that sometimes gets me into trouble.Entry fee to the Krak Des Chevaliers is SYP150 ($3.3) and discounted for students at SYP15.Open from 9am til 6pm, but since it's November and winter I heard a...

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  • Krak Des Chevaliers (set 7)

    The church portion of the castle which was converted by Mamluk Sultan Beibar to a mosque --- was the creepiest part for me, cuz that's where I got the best (or worst?) goosebumps inside one of those dark passageways where I'm definite that group tourists don't go. And yeah, accordingly, if you ever remember -- bring a flashlight with you if ou want...

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  • Krak Des Chevaliers (set 6)

    Be careful by the way in walking along the long esplanade above the outer walls as most of them don't have safeguarding rails or walls, and a slight move on the edge will throw you to the main road below -- it's very high .. I'm not joking!Entry fee to the Krak Des Chevaliers is SYP150 ($3.3) and discounted for students at SYP15.Open from 9am til...

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  • Krak Des Chevaliers (set 5)

    There is a very long esplanade of sort on top of the outer walls where people walk around to see the structure of the inner walls, and of course the view of the town and mountains surrounding th whole castle.This long boardwalk leads also to several rooftops where you can just relax and wait for the sunset - during summer time or the early sunset...

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  • Krak Des Chevaliers (set 4)

    The castle has two walls or parts - the inner and the outer walls, these two sections are separated by a moat filled with green stagnant water. I wish people would not throw those plastic cola bottles and food wrappers which are floating above the water. And there are also litters on some parts of the passageways particularly the ends which most...

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  • Krak Des Chevaliers (set 3)

    The independent guides roaming inside the castle (or maybe they're licensed by the ministry or the castle?) can be really useful especially for tourists wanting to know the various structures, chambers, passageways around ad inside the castle. With the enormous size of it, sometimes it is easy to get lost, yeah, I even found it hard to find my way...

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  • Krak Des Chevaliers (set 2)

    The Krak Des Chevaliers is located 750 meters above the ground. Built for the Emir of Aleppo in 1031, captured by raymon IV of Toulouse in 1099 but was abandoned, 1110 reoccupied by the Prince of Galilee, and finally in 1142, he Count of tripoli gave it to the Knights Hospitaller who made it their headquarter during the Crusades and developed and...

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  • Krak Des Chevaliers (set 1)

    The entrance fee to the Krak Des Chevaliers is SYP150 ($3.3) and discounted for students at SYP15.Open from 9am til 6pm, but since it's November and winter I heard a warning sign and some men directing the tourists to th main entrance right before 4pm, so be aware of that.There's a souvenir shop right safter the entrance. Righ at te gate, there are...

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  • Krak (full castle view)

    Since I did not immediately proceed inside the castle and looked for my hotel at the back, I found the best view of the castle on the road up passing by the castle. Here is actualy most bus tourists go. There's a restaurant stopover for them right on top of the road from the castle.

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  • The Dark Passageways of the Castle (set...

    The photos here I can't forget cuz here's where my clods and flu started. I was on the part of the castle's passageway where it's leading to a minbar (muslim pulpit) or I think it's the church part? I forgot somehow. But there are several tourists in a group and they were inside this chamber with a large round opening that I heard the guide was...

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  • Krak Des Chevaliers

    The only thing worth seeing in Homs (it's still a part of Homs gov. right?) is the Krak Des Chevaliers. And the only reason why I prefered staying nights at Qal'at AlHusn is the amazing view of th Krak. Dramatically, situated on top of the hill, this medieval military castle is described by T.E. Lawrence as the best preserved and wholly admirable...

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  • Explore Krak des Chaveliers

    Krak des Chaveliers (Fortress of Knights) is located about 30km outside of Homs. As you come from Damascus, take the turn to the left at Homs and get on to the highway to Tartous. Note that Krak des Chaveliers is known as Citadel of Hosn, to the Arabs. This castle sits atop a hill with a nice view of the mountains surrounding it. You spend hours...

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  • The Moat

    A tour of the moat - the area between the two walls of the castle - is recommended. It provides a good perspective on the castle and its defences. The moat can be accessed from either end of the vaulted ramp past the entrance to the castle. The southern side of the castle contains the reservoir, the arab baths, and three defensive towers...

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  • Richard I "The Lion-Heart"

    Two lion sculptures above an entrance into the moat are said to represent the English Crusader, Richard I, nicknamed "The Lion-Heart." The two sculptures have not fared well over time and are now headless. They are located at the southern exit from the vaulted ramp into the moat (by the reservoir and the arab baths).

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  • The Tower of the Daughter of the King

    The main defence tower at the northern end of the Castle is called the Tower of the Daughter of the King. It is a square tower and the largest at this end of the castle. Today, this tower houses a restaurant and café. Frankly, unless you are desperately thirsty, I do not recommend trying this restaurant (there is a recommended restaurant about 5...

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  • The Donjon

    The upper courtyard leads to the southern section of the inner fortress. This part of the castle is considered one of the strongest mediaeval defence systems ever built. It consists of three towers, two of which are strictly for defensive purposes (south east and central towers). The third circular tower (in the south west) is the Warden's Tower...

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  • Interior of Inner Fortress

    The focal point of the inner fortress is its courtyard, which connects the Chapel, Loggia, the Refectory and the main entrance together. From the inner courtyard, one could access the interior of the inner fortress. A large room with vaulted ceilings and many pillars is the Refectory - the dining room of the castle. Naturally, the kitchen is...

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  • The Vaulted Ramp

    Past the main entrance to the castle is a long, dark, vaulted ramp. Small steps up the ramp were designed to allow horses to easily climb up the ascent. The holes in the vaulted ceiling permitted some light to penetrate, but were also used to pour hot oil on unwanted invaders as a defence mechanism! The ramp makes a sharp right turn about half way...

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Qal`at al Hisn Restaurants

  • Buffet Dinner @ 6:30PM

    The buffet dinner at Baibers Hotel is actually all the mezzes that they normally serve during the day that goes with grilled chicken, french fries, and soda. Although the evening mezzes are eat-you-can, with fattoush (bread salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread with mixed greens and tomatoes, etc.)At SYP400 (or $8.70), it's worth...

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  • Excellent home cooked meal

    There is nothing luxurious about this restaurant, yet the food is excellent. The dining room has stunning panoramic views of Krak des Chevaliers, but a moment before we stepped in the weather turned very foggy, and as a result our view was nothing but a white window through out the entire meal! The restaurant is owned and run by a local family...

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  • Tower of the Daughter of the King

    Well, not sure what the official name of the restaurant is but it's located in the "Tower of the Daughter of the King". It's a neat, tidy, and spacious restaurant fitting for large tourist groups. I ordered a simple shish tawouk and fries but I also got a crap load of bread, hummus, and tabbouleh with that. A word to the wise, one order of food in...

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Qal`at al Hisn Transportation

  • From Qal'at Husn to Homs to Damascus

    Getting in to Krak Des Chevaliers from Hama is quite easy, BUT, it's a bit of a hassle going out from the Krak back to Homs or Damascus in my case, since I stayed at a hotel at the back of the castle.Here's how:I walked from the hotel to the entrance of the castle where all the transports are, and where the van dropped us off during the arrival. It...

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  • From Hama to Homs to Qal'at Al Husn

    While checking out of the hotel in Hama, I asked th guy at the reception about the transport going to Krak. That was silly actually because I said I hve the train or bus option and I've read about it online. So he told me that they offer private car to take me there directly and it would be a hassle if I go alone. Naaaaaaaahh! I can do it - against...

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  • No Public Transit

    As of my trip in 2006, there were no public routes to Krak des Chevaliers. The closest drop off point for minibus service stops just over 1km away from the road that leads up to the fortress.Whatever the case may be, I highly recommend arranging transport even though it may be a little more costly. The safe part is, you'll also have a ride out of...

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Qal`at al Hisn Local Customs

  • June.b's Profile Photo

    by June.b Updated Nov 30, 2010

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Greet the locals you passed by or at the places you're visiting or when getting inside a van or taxi with "Salam Alaykum" or peace be with you. It's not mandatory, just that it feels good for the local people that you acknowledge their presence and that you're showing respect to their culture and traditions.

    kids in Qal'at Al Husn
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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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Qal`at al Hisn Tourist Traps

  • June.b's Profile Photo

    by June.b Updated Nov 30, 2010

    There are private vans that act as private taxis from the entrance of the castle or passing by. Be sure to ask the fare and the nearest place to drop you off where you could get a service van. I paid SYP 150 for one of those who dropped me off just at the bottom of the mountain at the main road - a mere 3 kilometers or 10-minute ride - when normally a service van direct to the 1-hour Homs drive costs only SYP 50.

    Here's the complete story at:

    From Qal'at Al Husn to Homs to Damascus tip.

    Unique Suggestions: ask first...

    Fun Alternatives: if you're caught up on a holiday (Eid) - just like me - no choice but to bargain.

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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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Explore Deeper into Qal`at al Hisn
The Chapel
Things to Do
Salle des Chevaliers / The Great Hall
Things to Do
la Galerie / The Loggia
Things to Do
The Entrance
Things to Do
Map of Qal`at al Hisn

View all Qal`at al Hisn hotels