adventure travel & photography
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Tours/Expeditions: List with all our scheduled tours and expeditions
- The story
- Purchasing Fine Art Unlimited Edition Prints, RM Licenses, and/or the Whole Publication
- Purchasing RM 4K video footage - Thousand Voyages Video Collection
- Travel to Syria
The Krak des Chevaliers is considered one of the world's best-preserved and most impressive Crusader castles. It is located near the city of Safita in Central Syria and was built by the Knights Hospitaller during the time of the Crusades. Remarkably, it remains in excellent condition to this day.
I have had the opportunity to visit this site twice, once in 2022 and again in 2023. On both occasions, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the castle and discovering its hidden corners, as well as learning fascinating facts about its history. During my first visit, I had the pleasure of meeting a Hungarian archaeologist and his team, who shared interesting insights about the castle. Despite the ongoing war, they continued their work there.
The Crak des Chevaliers did not sustain significant damage during the Syrian Civil War. Only one room was hit by a shell, and the rest of the castle survived the conflict remarkably well. Our guide explained that the warring factions were not interested in wasting ammunition on the castle, as their focus was on destroying the settlements surrounding it, which are now mostly in ruins. The castle stands as a solitary structure amidst the devastation.
If you find yourself in the area, I highly recommend making the trip up the mountain to witness this spectacular medieval site. Walking through its extensive sections, one can feel transported back in time, experiencing the defensive and offensive structures, the sleeping quarters of soldiers, the storage areas, and even the places where fires were once lit. And when you reach the top, the view of the valley and villages below is simply breathtaking.
The Krak des Chevaliers was initially inhabited in the 11th century by Kurdish troops garrisoned there by the Mirdasids. In 1142, it was given to the Knights Hospitaller by Raymond II, Count of Tripoli. They occupied the castle until it was reconquered by the Muslims in 1271.
In the 19th century, there was a renewed interest in Crusader castles, which led to the investigation of Krak des Chevaliers. Unfortunately, in the late 19th or early 20th century, a settlement was established within the castle, resulting in damage to its structure. In 1933, the 500 inhabitants were relocated, and the castle was handed over to the French Alawite State. The state initiated a program of clearing and restoration. When Syria declared independence in 1946, it took control of the castle. Presently, the village of al-Husn surrounds the castle and has a population of nearly 9,000.
The Krak des Chevaliers is a remarkable fortress that has withstood the test of time. Despite the war, the castle remains awe-inspiring, capturing the imagination just as it would have done in medieval times.
Purchasing Fine Art Unlimited Edition Prints, RM Licenses, and/or the Whole Publication
All images in the publication and/or photo gallery are available for purchase as Fine Art Unlimited Edition Prints and/or licensed using Rights Managed Image Licensing. The publication may also be available for purchase as a single unit, including the text, photos, videos, or music (if available), as one complete publication that you can use on your website, in a magazine (print or online), or on other platforms.
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Purchasing RM 4K video footage - Thousand Voyages Video Collection
All the videos on this page are part of the Thousand Voyages Video Collection and are offered as rights-managed 4K stock footage. You have the option to purchase entire clips, typically a few minutes in length, or individual parts of the clips as separate footage, ranging from 10 to 60 seconds.
If you are interested in making a purchase, please first read the Thousand Voyages Video Collection - FAQ and then send an email to me at email@example.com with the link to the page where you found the video clip, either on this website or on my Vimeo account page - https://vimeo.com/pavelgospodinov.
You can find all publications on this website that include embedded videos here.
Travel to Syria
I organize and lead small groups to Syria through my licensed travel agency "Thousand Voyages" Ltd.
You can find out more about the guided tours here.
A list of all scheduled tours can be found here.