Homs central province enjoys a wide cultural diversity as it embraces about five thousand archeological sites which have been the fruit of tens of successive civilizations. The archeological sites in Homs province, according to Chairman of Tourism Directorate Ahmad Akkash, belong to…
Syria’s Crusader castle Krak des Chevaliers, which has withstood centuries of conflict, religious division and occupation, is again welcoming visitors…
Syrian specialists have proceeded with the works to reconstruct Krak des Chevaliers castle, which was occupied by militants during the fighting in the Syrian city of Homs…
Source: Krak Des Chevaliers
Mighty military strongholds from ancient castles to modern innovations.
A fortress protects and gives military personnel a safe harbor from the enemy. But not all fortresses were created equal. And they certainly weren’t all created the same. We look over time and distance to find the 30 most impressive fortresses from around the world and throughout history.
Crac des Chevaliers, Syria
Built by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem from 1142 to 1271, the Crusader castle in Syria—and a UNESCO World Heritage site—stands as one of the most preserved examples of fortification from the era. Perched on a high ridge, the fortress has both a defensive and attacking mindset that helped keep it safe from would-be pursuers.
Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia, Chagos Archipelago
On an atoll about 1,000 miles from India, this joint operation between the U.S. and U.K. handles logistical support for troops in the Middle East. The remote location gives it the ability to track satellites and run a Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance system.
Read more from source: The World’s 30 Most Impressive Fortresses
Syria’s unique ancient treasures are another victim of the escalating conflict. With no regard for their historical significance for the country and the world, museums are being plundered, works of art sold off and ancient, Byzantine and medieval archaeological sites shelled and stripped of their treasures. Andreas Kilb reports
In the second century BC, Apamea on the bank of the Orontes River was a major Mediterranean metropolis. The Seleucid King Antiochus set up camp here with his army and 500 war elephants before crossing the Euphrates in the spring to battle with the invading Parthians from the Asian steppes.
Around the time of the birth of Christ, the city and its surrounding lands boasted a population of a half a million. A century later, after a devastating earthquake, thermal baths were built and a 2-kilometre-long, 40-metre-wide thoroughfare lined on both sides by twenty-metre-high columns was constructed from the north to the south of the city. In the twelfth century, Crusaders and Arab emirs fought over Apamea.
It was built in 1142. But the magnificent Crac de Chevaliers in Syria may not survive the war presently engulfing it.
High on a hill, almost halfway between Homs, Syria, and the Mediterranean Sea, sits a grand and formidable castle. All imposing turrets and towers, winding parapets, and massive stretches of limestone walls, the Crac des Chevaliers is the stuff of Disney-worthy dreams.
One can only imagine the historical events that this castle has witnessed from that hilltop since the Crusaders began constructing it in 1142 as their latest and greatest fortress.
But it is in the most recent of these world-shaking crises—the Syrian Civil War—that the UNESCO World Heritage Site has suffered what may be irreparable damage.
War has completely gripped the once majestic Syria, taking more than 300,000 innocent lives.
The silent witnesses to the violence and death are the many sites that once made Syria a top destination, blessed with its many well-kept and preserved heritage sites.
The buildings and structures that once witnessed monumental, historical events have now been reduced to a wartorn landscape as many of its previously bustling citizens flee to save their lives.
Site of Palmyra
In the northeast of Damascus lies the oasis Palmyra, a city that is considered one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world, having witnessed the life and industry of the earlier civilizations. Standing on the crossroads of different ancient cultures, Palmyra adopted Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences in art and architecture.