Palmyra Castle

Palmyra Castle
قلعة فخر الدين المعني
Palmyra, Syria

View of the castle
Fakhr-al-Din al-Ma'ani Castle
Coordinates 34°33′45.9″N 38°15′26.8″E / 34.562750°N 38.257444°E / 34.562750; 38.257444
Type Castle
Site information
Controlled by Syrian Army
Condition Largely intact but damaged
Site history
Built 13th century
Built by Mamluks

Syrian Civil War

Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iv
Designated 1980 (4th session)
Part of Site of Palmyra
Reference no. 23
State Party  Syria
Region Arab States
Endangered 2013–present

Palmyra Castle, also known as Fakhr-al-Din al-Ma'ani Castle (Arabic: قلعة فخر الدين المعني), is a castle overlooking Palmyra in the province of Homs, Syria.

The castle is thought to have been built by the Mamluks in the 13th century[1] on a high hill overlooking the historic site of Palmyra, and is named for the Druze emir Fakhr-al-Din II, who extended the Druze domains to the region of Palmyra during the 16th century.

The site of the castle and Palmyra in 1980 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of the monumental ruins of a great city, which was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. The site was designated a national monument in Syria and a buffer zone was established in 2007.[2]

The castle lying on raised bedrock was a well defended position for a fortification with thick and high walls, which was also surrounded by a moat that had only one access available through a drawbridge.

The historic site in 2013 was placed on the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger due to the ongoing Syrian Civil War.[3]

The castle was captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant during the Palmyra offensive in May 2015.[4] It was recaptured by Syrian government forces in another offensive in March 2016.[5] Retreating ISIS fighters blew up parts of the castle, including the stairway leading to the entrance, causing extensive damage. The basic structure is still intact, and Syrian director of antiquities Maamoun Abdelkarim stated that the damage is reparable and the castle is to be restored.[6]

See also


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Qasr Ibn Maʿan.
  1. Warwick Ball, Syria: A Historical and Architectural Guide, 1994. ISBN 1-56656-665-7. p. 228
  2. "Site of Palmyra". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  3. "Syria's priceless heritage under attack". BBC News. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  4. Stromme, Lizzie (26 March 2016). "Ruthless Vladimir Putin helps Syrian forces SEIZE ancient Palmyra Castle from evil ISIS". Daily Express. Archived from the original on 27 March 2016.
  5. "Islamic State loses Palmyra citadel to Syrian army". Times of Malta. 25 March 2016. Archived from the original on 27 March 2016.
  6. Said, H.; Raslan, Rasha; Sabbagh, Hazem (26 March 2016). "Palmyra Castle partially damaged due to ISIS acts, plans to restore it to its former glory". Syrian Arab News Agency. Archived from the original on 27 March 2016.
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