Another day ,another castle..
Banyas Travel Blog› entry 6 of 6 › view all entries
I took one of the notorious minivan-buses towards Tartus ,but got of in Banyas. This is a little boring village( which ironically is older then most cities in Europe and much older then the american civilization with its`1200 year origin) which is good for a lunch before taking another van towards Zaoube , this will take you straight up on the mountain where the black castle of Quala`at Marqab is located. You might feel a bit like an adventurer when getting of the bus alone on the deserted mountain road going passed the enourmous black castle , that looks like it is taken straight out of Lord of the rings or some other epic tale. It`s a very impressive sight , pictures can hardly do it any justice.
Another day , another castle....juuust for me ,as tourism is hardly a big issue in this region (or in this country). The castle was buildt during the muslim invasion in 1060 , but fortified by crusaders in 1200. And this was actually one of the castles the arabic hero Saladin managed to conquer.another Mameluk sultan conquered the castle after some heavy efforts. His army were stationed aoutside the castle for months, constantly hurling gigantic fire balls at the castle , as well as large wooden weapons with "greek fire" (gun powder and oil). Eventually he won the siege by digging loads of tunnel under the castle to get his people in.... The castle today is a bit owergrown....lack of maintenance...
After enjoying the views from the castle I somehow managed to get a ride towards Tartus - the next coastal city of Syria