"Castle of Saladin" Qal`at Sahyun by Mcclovis

Qal`at Sahyun Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 10 photos

Qala'at Salah Ed-Din or Qala'at Seyoun (Saone)

Of all the castles of Syria, Saladin's Castle is situated in the most picturesque spot. Whole sides of it are literally carved out of the rock and it is set among thick forests and deep ravines. Few of the buildings inside it are left standing but the needle-like rock projecting from the manmade canyon is still there. It provided support for a drawbridge. The sheer amount of rock the Crusaders had to hack away in order to separate the Castle from the rest of the mountain are evidence of the terror they must have felt. History shows that the Castle soon fell under the hands of Saladin and his army and that is why the Castle is now called Saladin's rather than Saone's (one of the original Crusader builders.)

Up, up, up

Getting to the Castle is not easy. It is an uphill journey in more meanings than one! But the journey is an adventure in itself and as you reach the road in the canyon with the rock needle you'd think it's over. It isn't! There is a steep flight of steps further on as you turn the corner! And the staff at the reception were not particularly polite.

Spectacular views

The Citadel (Qala'a) of Saladin is built on a triangular ridge but only the base of the triangle retains some buildings. The rest is overgrown with vegetation to match the rest of the surroundings but the peace and quiet gives it an air of forlorn tranquility. My friend and I climbed to the top of the highest tower we could find and sat on a windowsill chatting the hours away, surrounded by history and nature as they vied for our attention.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:nature plus history
  • Cons:difficult to reach and (pitifully) unkempt
  • In a nutshell:The name alone implores you to visit
  • Last visit to Qal`at Sahyun: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (3)

Comments (1)

  • Bavavia's Profile Photo
    Sep 14, 2006 at 2:54 PM

    That is a scary view, just looking at the picture was scary!( i am afraid of heights big time)!!


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