This is a list of impressive castles in Lebanon, founded or occupied during the crusades by the crusaders, in the 11th century till the 13th century

Mseilha Fort, Batroun

The Mseilha Fort also known as “Puy du Connétable” is a medieval fortification situated north of the city of Batroun. The current fort was built by Emir Fakherddine II in the 17th century to guard the route from Tripoli to Beirut. The fort is built on a long, narrow limestone rock near the Nahr el-Jawz River.

Its walls are constructed with small sandstone blocks quarried from the nearby coast and built onto the edge of the limestone rock. The thickness of the walls ranges from 1.5 to 2 meters (4 to 6.5 feet). The larger limestone blocks are the only remains of an earlier structure probably built for the same defensive reason.

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Saint Gilles Castle, Tripoli

In 1102, Raymond VI of Saint Gilles, Count of Toulouse, one of the first knights who set out on the First Crusade in 1096, turned his attention to the conquest of Tripoli, the most important emirate on the coast. Raymond wished to establish a principality that would command both the coast road and the Orontes. In 1103 Saint-Gilles who had camped on the outskirts of the city, ordered the construction of a fortress which to this day is still known by his name.

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Saida Citadel

During the 13th century, the Crusaders built Sidon’s Sea Castle as a fortress on a small island connected to the mainland by a narrow 80m long roadway. The island was formerly the site of a temple to Melqart, the Phoenician version of .

The beauty of the Castle can be seen in old illustrations of it; however, after bearing several wars, it has been damaged and renovated several times. It was partially destroyed by the Mamluks when they took over the city from the Crusaders, but they subsequently rebuilt it and added the long causeway. The castle later fell into disuse, but was again restored in the 17th century by Emir Fakhredine II, only to suffer great damage.

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Beaufort Citadel

Beaufort or Belfort Castle is a Crusader fortress in Southern Lebanon, about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) to the south-south-east of the village of Arnoun. There was a fortification on the site before it was captured by Fulk, King of Jerusalem, in 1139 and construction of the Crusader castle probably began soon after. Saladin captured Beaufort in 1190, but 60 years later Crusaders re-took it. In 1268 Sultan Baibars finally captured the castle for the Islamic forces.

Beaufort provides one of the few cases where a medieval castle proved of military value and utility also in modern warfare, as its late 20th-century history shows.

beaufort-castle

 

Byblos Citadel

Byblos Castle is a castle in Byblos, Lebanon. It was built by the Crusaders in the 12th century from indigenous limestone and the remains of Roman structures. The finished structure was surrounded by a moat. It belonged to the genoese Embriaco family, whose members were the Lords of Gibelet (as Byblos/Lebanon was called during Middle Ages). Saladin captured the town and castle in 1188 and dismantled the walls in 1190. Later, the Crusaders recaptured Byblos and rebuilt the fortifications of the castle in 1197. In 1369, the castle had to fend off an attack from Cypriot vessels from Famagusta.

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Smar Jbeil Castle

The Castle was built in the center of the village, on a hill showing the entire neighborhood. Most of the historians recognize that the castle was built by the Phoenicians, and was under the Persian Empire control in 555 B.C.

It passed to the hands of Alexander of Macedon’s (the Great) in 331 B.C. In the Middle Ages, the Maronites and their army the Maradaites took the castle as a refuge and it was the See of the First Maronite Catholic Patriarch Saint John Maron before he moved to Kfarhay.

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