Marquab Castle

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Imposing Marquab castle sits on the site of an extinct volcano watching over the expanse of the Mediterranean Sea. Called Qalaat Al Marqab in Arabic it means Castle of the watchtower.

This is where Richard the Lionheart landed at the beginning of the third crusade.

Founded in 1062 by the Muslim Arabs it was then taken over by the Byzantines then somehow passed into the hands of the principality of Antioch at an unknown date.

It was then sold to the Hospitallers in 1186 and was rebuilt to the latest Frankish military standards of architecture and used by the Crusaders until it fell into the hands of Sultan Qalaun in 1285.

The most important aspects and features of this fortress are the keep and the chapel. The round keep is a massive tower of strength, and at a diameter of nearly 29 meters and walls of 5 meters thick it is quite typical of 12th century Hospitallers work.

From the top, magnificent views of the mountains and the coast can be seen, not to mention the beautiful view of the Mediterranean.

The chapel is entered by two entrances; one from the north and the other from the west, up some steps. Also built in the 12th century, it is a magnificent example of Gothic art, with traces of Romanesque.

Although relatively small the fact that there are no aisles makes it quite spacious, typical of Gothic art. There are three pointed arches, one decorated in black and white, one undecorated but supported with Corinthian capitalized columns.

The rounded apse is two steps higher than the rest of the chapel, and there are two small rooms behind it. The chapel is beautiful in its simplicity.


Special Notes:
Tour not wheelchair accessible nor for persons or with restricted walking.

Comfortable clothing, walking shoes recommended.

A considerable amount of walking is involved on uneven cobblestones and ruined passages with an uphill walk to reach inside the castle.

Several steps throughout the castle.

Basic toilets within a short walking distance from the castle are available


Tour Timings:

Tours begin at times suitable for the ship's arrival in port. The breakdown of the excursions is as follows:
00hr00 -> Depart from Tartous Port

00hr00 -> 01hr00 Drive to Marquab Castle
01hr00 -> 02hr30 Visit Castle
02hr30 -> 03hr30 Drive to Tartous



Tour Details

Tour Name:
Marquab Castle

Sightseeing Shore Tours
Cultural Shore Tours

Tour ID:

Approximately 03hr30

medium excursion

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