Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din [ Syria ]

serial cultural property

        2003-2005 | listed in 2006 | french



DGAM, Direction Générale des Antiquités et des Musées, Syrian Arab Republic (technical assistance granted
by UNESCO / World Heritage Centre)


December 2003 / January 2005
listed in July 2006


UNESCO World Heritage Centre / Crac des Chevaliers

NB: Since June 2013, Syria’s six World Heritage sites are placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

The Nomination File was drafted when Simone Ricca was based in Damascus, between 2002 and 2005. The work was carried out entirely from Syria and the file prepared in collaboration with the Inventory department of the Syrian Antiquities (DGAM) in Damascus and with the local administrators in charge of the management of the two sites in Homs and Latakieh.

The Crac des Chevaliers and the Fortress of Salah ad-Din are two separate castles located in the centre and north of Syria respectively. They have been nominated jointly in a “serial nomination”. Together, these two fortresses represent the most prestigious and the best-preserved example among the many castles dating from the Crusader’s period that can be found in Syria.

Renowned since the Middle Age, described in uncountable Crusaders’ and Muslim sources, they embody the three centuries of fights, wars and transformations that brought about modern Middle East.

Taken together, they offer a sort of complete catalogue of the technical and military innovations produced during two centuries of continuous confrontation between Christian (at first Byzantine, then Crusaders) and Muslim armies.

The influence of the new architectural forms that were developed in the region in this historic period reverberated in the following centuries both in the East and in the West, and greatly contributed to the development of architecture and technology.

The two fortresses represent as well the very “archetype” of the Middle Age castle for their setting, architectural style and technical details. The plan of the Crac might be rightly considered as the most perfect expression of a constructive typology – the castle – that is the symbol of the feudal period.