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  • Famous castles of Syria make for a great vacation

    2010-06-17

    The Crusades were an interesting period in world history and left behind some remarkable remnants. Those who want to learn more should book a vacation to Syria, where many of the buildings from the time period can still be seen today.

    The country boasts two must-see castles: Saladin's castle and Krak des Chevaliers. Saladin's castle sits on a high hill overlooking a wooded valley. Crusaders carved a massive trench into the very rock at the top of the hill in order to defend the fortress. However, it was no match for the conquering Saladin, also known as Salah-ad-Din, who defeated the knights and claimed the castle for his own in the twelfth century.

    Saladin tried, but couldn't conquer the Krak des Chevaliers, probably the region's most famous castle. Another remnant of the Crusades, the fortress is known for being remarkably well-preserved. During that time, it was rumored to be impregnable, and indeed proved itself so in a number of battles. It was only conquered through a fake letter sent to the knights that convinced them to abandon the fortress.

    Adventurous travelers may also want to head into the Syrian desert to search for the Dead Cities. Many cities here have been lost to the sands of time, like Palmyra, a city built by the Roman empire at the height of its power. Visitors might be puzzled by seeing Roman architecture in the middle of the desert, but its just one of the many unique places that Syria offers.

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