Castles on the Web

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18 February 2001


Neathery and Michael Fuller,



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Medieval Era Archaeological Sites

Crusader Era Sites in Greater Syria

Qalaat Al-Kahf


1132 Built by local Arabs

1140 Sold to Ismaelis

1164 to 1190 Headquarters of Rashid al-Din Sinan "Old Man of the Mountains"

1197 Henry of Champagne visits; reputed to be the event when two Assassins jump to their death at Sinan's beckon

1273 Mamluk Baybars captures the castle


Entrance way through a carved tunnel

Roman/Byzantine niche inside of tunnel

Mysterious red hand prints on the inside walls of the castle's steam bath

One of several Arabic inscriptions inside the castle

Another inscription

Kufic Inscription

Kufic inscription

Kufic inscription

Another inscription

Kufic inscription

Cisterns inside of castle

Walls of the castle are largely obscured by scrub vegetation



GPS information for al-Kahf

1. Weli (Saint's grave) west of castle that some believe is Sinan's tomb

North 35o 02.560' and East 036o 05.358'

Approximate elevation of 1557 ft.


2. Western tower of the castle

North 35o 02.444' and East 036o 04.920'

Approximate elevation of 1517 ft.


3. Looters pit in south half of site

North 35o 02.433' and East 036o 05.093'

Approximate elevation 1526 ft.


4. Kufic Arabic inscription no. 3

N 35o 02.495' and East 036o 04.942'

Approximate elevation of 1454 feet


5. Kufic Arabic inscription no. 2

North 35o 02.471' and East 036o 04.977'

Approximate elevation of 1413 ft.


6. Gate and Kufic Arabic inscription no. 1

North 35o 02.473' and East 036o 05.090'

Approximate elevation of 1395 ft.


7. Large Cistern

North 35o 02.446' and East 035o 05.070

Approximate elevation of 1419 ft.


8. Central tall tower/don jon

North 35o 02.457' and East 036o 05.086'

Approximate elevation of 1541 ft.


9. Eastern Tower

North 35o 02.450' and East 036o 05.107'

Approximate elevation of 1472 ft.


10. Tunnel like feature

North 35o 02.471' and East 036o 04.990'

Approximate elevation of 1447 ft.