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18 February 2001

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Medieval Era Archaeological Sites

Crusader Era Sites in Greater Syria

Safita / Chastal Blanc

1112 Part of the domains of the Count of Tripoli

1167 Nur al-Din attacks and destroys fortress

1171 Nur al-Din attacks and destroys fortress

ca. 1188 Knights Templar rebuild the fortress. Saladin unable to take it.

1202 Earthquake damage requires further repair.

1218 Attacked by Al-Ashraf of Aleppo

Feb. 1271 Safita falls to Sultan Baibars

 

Tower of Safita from distance

Tower of Safita closer

Doorway into Tower of Safita

Chapel of St. Michael surviving from Crusader Period on ground floor of Safita donjon

Second floor of the Donjon/Tower of Safita

Interior of the Donjon/Tower of Safita

Cross in raised relief on outside wall of Safita donjon

Best preserved fragments of castle walls viewed from the Safita restaurant

Selected Bibliography for Safita:

Boas, Adrian J. (1999)

Crusader Archaeology. Routledge, London, p. 95-96

 

Burns, Ross (1992)

Monuments of Syria: An Historical Guide. I. B. Tauris, London. p. 208-210

 

Lawrence. T. E. (1992 reprint of 1936)

Crusader Castles. Immel Publishing, London. 67-75

 

Lyons, Malcolm Cameron and D. E. P. Jackson (1982)

Saladin: The Politics of Holy War. Cambridge Paperback Library, Cambridge. p. 286

 

Muller-Wiener, Wolfgang (1966)

Castles of the Crusaders. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York. p. 51-52

 

Riley-Smith, Jonathan (1987)

The Crusades: A Short History. Yale University Press. p. 151,192, 203

 

Runciman, Steven (1954)

A History of the Crusades, Vol. 3: The Kingdom of Acre and the Later Crusades. Cambridge University Press. p. 324

 

Smail, R. C. (1995 reprint of 1956 edition)

Crusading Warfare (1097-1193). Barnes and Noble Books, NY. p. 226-228

 

Tate, Georges (1991)

L'Orient des Croisades. Decouvertes Gallmard. p. 55

 

GPS information for Safita

1. Safita Tower at entrance

North 34o 49.238' and East 036o 07.007'

Approximate elevation of 1278 ft.

 

2. Restaurant inside castle next to tower

North 34o 49.238' and East 036o 07.020'

Approximate elevation of 1291 ft.

 

3. Sham Palace Hotel outside of castle

North 34o 49.129' and East 036o 06.694'

Approximate elevation of 1173 ft.