Krak des Chevaliers
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Architect unknown
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Location Syria   map
Date 1150 to 1250   timeline
Building Type fort
 Construction System bearing masonry
Climate desert
Context rural
Style Medieval
Notes Crusader castle






Plan Drawing

Discussion Krak des Chevaliers Commentary

"The Krak of the Knights, described by T.E. Lawrence as 'the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world,' is the easternmost of a chain of five castles sited so as to secure the Homs Gap...The castle stands upon a southern spur of the Gebel Alawi, on the site of an earlier Islamic 'Castle of the Kurds.' In 1142 it was given by Raymond, Count of Tripoli, into the care of the Knights Hospitallers, and it was they who, during the ensuing fifty years, remodelled and developed it as the most distinguished work of military architecture of its time.

The Krak has two concentric lines of defence, the inner ramparts lying close to the outer and continuously dominating them. The single ward of the original eleventh-century castle covered about the same area as the later inner enclosure, and some of the remains of the early work on the crest of the spur are incorporated in the existing building. The outer curtain is furnished on the north and west sides with eight round towers, of which one is later than the Crusader occupation, and of which two form the north barbican, also extended at a later date."

— Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p356.

Sources on Krak des Chevaliers

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1975. photo, p108. Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0. — An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. Available at

Henri Stierlin. Comprendre l'Architecture Universelle 1. Paris: Office du Livre S.A. Fribourg (Suisse), 1977. plan drawing, p170.

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. Boston: Butterworths, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. NA200.F63 1987. discussion, p356. — The classic text of architectural history. Expanded 1996 edition available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Krak des Chevaliers


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