Tartus طرطوس

 Tartus is Syria’s second major port city. Remains of the medieval fortress of Tortosa, the headquarters of the Knights Templar, lie within the modern city, slowly being released from the clutter of the once-sleepy port town. The visit as described in ‘Monuments of Syria’ (I B Tauris, London 2009) pages 290–294 begins at the city’s […]

Zalebiye زلبيّة , Byzantine fortress

Zalebiye, Byzantine fortress, a set on Flickr. This Byzantine fortress (ancient name Basileia) is a companion to its larger counterpart two kilometres upstream on the Euphrates River. While the western walls have been washed away by changes in the river course, much of the eastern side of the enclosure remains, along with some of the […]

Qalaat Jaabr قلعة جعبر

Perhaps the most striking aspect of this Islamic fortified site is its location, today perched on an island connected to the north bank of the Euphrates Lake by a bridge. Not much remains of the castle’s interior beyond the round minaret from its mosque, but the circuit walls clearly show the typical fortified plan of the […]