The Krak Des Chevaliers is a Crusader Castle in Syria. The castle was the stronghold for the Crusaders, or the Knights Hospitallers. The castle received fortification in the latter part of the 12 th century. The castle was built with an intention to act as a defense against invasions or sieges, and the castle is built in a form that is suitable for this function. There is a curtain wall that surrounds the castle, and this actually encloses another set of towers and walls that surround the central court. The concentric layout was of immense strategic importance. The outer perimeter was defended by Knights in the first stage of attacks, and later if required could retreat in the space in the center. The walls in the inner perimeter are taller than the outer wall, and the knights also had the advantage of superior height when defending against sieges.
The Krak des Chevaliers overlooks the very small gap which exists between the coastal mountains between Israel and Turkey. The crusaders, in order to further the defense, had a great masonry stone slope built so as to strengthen the slightly weak southern wall of the Krak des Chevaliers. This slope was made extremely smooth, and was about eight feet in thickness at the base. The slope was made so smooth that it was impossible to scale it. In fact, when Lawrence of Arabia tried to scale the wall in nineteen nine, and could not go more than half way up. And that was without cascading boiling oil and stone pelting by the defending knights.
There are a number of other typical caste features at the Krak des Chevaliers, such as a moat and a drawbridge. In addition to this, there was a steep passage way that had four gate ways, as well as a grating of iron that slid down from the roof, and closed the passage completely. There are a series of zigzagging pathways that slowed the pace of the invaders, and there were strategic openings over head, and through this, knights shot arrows, rocks, boiling oil and flaming pitch.
The Krak des Chevaliers withstood a huge number of Arab assaults all through the hundred years that it was occupied by the knights, who lived here in security. There are a number of attractions in the inner precincts, such as a 12 t h century Roman Chapel, a banqueting hall, a fine Gothic balcony. The stables here have still the loops that tied horses in the past.