Maysaf is a city in Syria found in the Hama Governate which is one of the fourteen provinces of Syria. It is situated in the western part of Syria and is known for its large medieval castle.The castle dates back to the Byzantine era. It is situated in the lush Orontes Valley, c. 60 kilometers to the west of Hama. It served to protect the trade routes to cities further inland such as Banyas. The castle itself stands about 20 meters above the surrounding plain.Evidence suggests that the lower layers and foundations of the castle are of Byzantine origin. Later levels were added by the Nizari Ismailis, Mamluks, and Ottomans. The castle was captured by the Ismailis in 1141 from Sanqur (who had held it on behalf of the Banu Mundiqh of Shayzar) and was later refortified by Rashid al-Din Sinan. Masyaf and the surrounding town functioned as the capital of a Nizari emirate from the middle of the 12th century until the end of the 13th century. Saladin besieged it in May of 1176 but the siege did not last long and it concluded with a truce. Current research indicates it was held by the Hashshashins at that time.
In 1260, the castle was surrendered to the Mongols. Later that year in September, the Nizaris allied with the Mamluks to drive the Mongols out from Syria and reclaim the castle. Baybars took hold of the castle in February of 1270. In 1830, an Egyptian expedition led by Ibrahim Pasha did some damage to the castle. Restoration funded by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Programme began in 2000.(the last two paragraphs were taken directly from their wikipedia page.)Maysaf
The reason why I chose this city was because it was the main setting of a video game I liked called Assassins creed which took place in 1191 at the time of the crusades. Howevere, there are some discrepancies between the representation of the game's version of Masyaf and the actual real-world version of Masyaf. Some liberties were taken as the Masyaf in the game was noted for being atop a small mountain surrounded by cliffs, mountains and rivers although in real life it had none of these features except for being a fortress atop a city. The game version was more of a meld between the real world Masyaf and Alamut which was a mountain fortress located near Tehran, which is the capital of Iran. It was noted to be the stronghold for a group of warriors called the Hashashins from which the word assassins are derived from. The name most likely means "Eagle's Nest".(the last paragraph incorporated information taken directly from the wikipedia page of both alamut and masyaf.Maysaf and alamut Here is a site to check out more about Syrian culture. Syria culture Here is a website about a place you might be interested in.Dhaka