The Syrian Hungarian Joint Mission restores Krack des Chevaliers

Since the beginning of this year, the Syrian-Hungarian Joint Mission has carried out a set of restoration and reconstruction works at the Krack des Chevaliers in Homs. The mission will also return and complete its work in October.

The Director of the Castle, Naima Muhartim, stressed the importance of this joint work in implementing many works related to the castle, its squares and some of its halls.

The Director expressed happiness at the return of tourism to the castle through the local visitors in addition to visitors from various countries, which indicates the return of normal life to our tourist sites and its castles, noting that since the beginning of the year the number of visitors has reached 15 thousand visitors compared with 4641 visitors in last August. The director underlined the importance of volunteer work carried out by some of the youth teams in the castle from time to time to clean up the castle’s tracks and squares.

Eng. Hazem Hanna, head of the engineering division in the castle, said that the mission cleaned some of the water channels in the inner castle, especially the square located west of the church tower and the main drainage channel in the western wall of the castle, and transported the debris that was outside the castle in order to follow up the study of water drainage there.

Hanna pointed out that the Ottoman house within the castle was restored to a warehouse for the collection of archaeological finds, as the mission finished processing three rooms within this house through the installation of wooden windows and iron doors and the extension of water and electricity.

The mission also carried out excavation works in the south-eastern part of the Soldiers Hall, where previously an oven and basins were found as well as filming three-dimensional imaging technology to the mission’s activities which will be processed in the laboratories of the University of Peter Pazmani in Budapest, Hungary to give them to the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums.

The Head of the Engineering Division explained that the plan of action, which will be followed regarding the technical grant from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was discussed with a view to completing the guideline of the Citadel site in cooperation with the Syrian-Hungarian Archaeological Mission.

The Hungarian side expressed its full readiness to participate actively in this project and to provide the necessary expertise and technical support, referring to laying out the castle scheme after the restoration of all spaces and constructions in preparation for the start of historical and architectural studies of the castle.



Syrian Hungarian team concludes work in the Krak Des Chevaliers

The joint Syrian Hungarian archaeological team recently concluded work in the Krak Des Chevaliers.

Director of the engineering section in the site engineer Hazem Hanna said that the team, which spent 15 days working on the site, made a detailed historical and archaeological study of the site and prepared a special file for the renovation works with the aim of rehabilitating the citadel which is one of the most important archaeological monuments in Syria. The team also documented the clay finds unearthed in the site during previous seasons and the frescoes existing in the tower of the church.

Krak des Chevaliers in Homs city is one of the most important and well preserved medieval castles in the world. It was built during the first Crusade period in 1031 to control the strategic passageway in the Orontes River Valley due to its strategic importance.

Krak des Chevaliers is a typical example of Gothic architecture. It is one of the best-preserved examples of medieval military architecture. The fortress could accommodate a garrison of 2000 soldiers. The inner castle is protected by seven towers, each 10 meters in diameter. The storeroom is 120 meters long and could hold supplies that would permit the defenders to survive a siege for about five years, with stables that could accommodate up to one thousand horses.

The citadel is located approximately 40 kilometers west of the city of Homs. Due to its great archaeological importance, the castle was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2006.

It was partially damaged by the armed terrorist groups which committed acts of vandalism and destruction in the citadel. But the Syrian Arab army men liberated it and uprooted the terrorist groups stationed there in 2014. Since then, reconstruction and renovation work are underway in the site by national and international archaeological teams.




Inas Abdulkareem