The first fort was recorded in 1031, but it was the 12th century Crusaders who expanded Krac into the form that exists today. The Crusaders held the castle until 1271. We loved the Krac and had a great evening at the St. Francis hotel with some very LARGE whiskies and some candied fruit...
The next morning on our way back to Damascus we stopped off in Maloula. Maloula is an interesting little village, with houses set into the side of a cliff face.
There are some Muslims living here, but the population is predominantly Greek Catholic. Until very recently the main language of the village was a variation of Aramaic, the language thought to be spoken by Jesus. We visited a couple of sites and a gorge.
The Convent of St. Tecla (a pupil of St. Paul and one of the first Christian martyrs) and the Monastery of St. Sergius (where the remains of a Byzantine church remain). We also visited a mini-Siq (gorge) with 100s of other visitors.