Krak des Chevaliers is a Crusader castle in Syria and one of the most important preserved medieval castles in the world. Originally garrisoned by Kurdish troops, from whom it got the name Hisn al-Akrad, meaning the “Castle of the Kurds”. In 1142 it was given by Raymond II, Count of Tripoli, to the Knights Hospitaller. It remained in their possession until it fell in 1271. It became known as Crac de l’Ospital; the name Krak des Chevaliers was coined in the 19th century.
Last year it was held by Islamist rebels, but a crack unity of Syrian Army soldiers stormed it in a daring dawn raid, so as to spare the historic site being obliterated in a series of airstrikes.
We hope, within a few years, that it will again be possible to visit this, and other wonderful ancient sites in Syria, as tourists in a peaceful land once again. Deus Vult!