Thursday, March 21, 2013

Margat Castle

Plan of the Citadel:

1. Path from outer Gate;
2. Inner Gate;
3. 12th century towers;
4. Hall;
5. Chapel;
6. Northeast Tower;
7. Donjon.


--The castletown and The Tour de l'Eperon both lie off the plan to the North;

--Margat Castle is one of the largest and most dramatic of the Syrian Castles;

--Margate Castle largely dates from the 12th -- 13th century with later Islamic additions.  This development has been done in such a way that the castles themselves have neither been spoiled nor over-restored;

--In the North, overlooking the Syrian Coast, the first Crusader Castle  of Margat (al-Marqab) was built by the Mazoir family, but all that remains of their original castle is part of a curtain-wall with the rectangular towers;

--By 1160 the Hospitallers had seven or eight castles in Syria, gaining a further eleven or twelve during the following decade.  One of the strongest was Margat (al-Marqab) which lay within the Principality of Antioch.  It had been the center of the Mazoir family's extensive properties after 1130, but was sold to the Hospitallers  in 1186.  (Ref. "Crusader Castles In the Holy Land 1097 - 1192 == Fortress 21," David Nicolle, Adam Hook (illus.) , Osprey, Oxford, UK, 2004 (ISBN 1-84176-715-8);

--Original building begun in the 12th century, it is a rock castle, in ruins, and only partially remaining; the Donjon  is located inside the curtain-wall;

--Donjon = The main tower of a fortified location, or a single isolated tower.

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