Thursday, March 30, 2006
A view of the town from Musyaf Castle.
The Crusader Castle of Musyaf is located not far from Hama. We visited it on a day trip from Tartous, also including in our route Safita's Keep, Hosn Suleiman, Qala'at Marqab, and ending at Lattakia.
Musyaf's main draw may be that it is associated with the Assassin (Ismaili) sect of Islam. Otherwise, it is another stunning example of Syria's wonderful ruined Crusader castles. As with many other tourist attractions in Syria, half of the appeal of Musyaf is its stunning location in mountainous countryside.
There were enough sudden dropoffs, dark chambers, and pitch-black winding passages at Musyaf to keep even my little brother happy. In the early spring, when we visited, there were also many beautiful wildflowers just beginning to bloom in the cracks and crevices of the 1000-year-old stones. While not as grand as Krak des Chevaliers, as brooding as Marqab, or as majestic as Qala'at Salah ad-Din, Musyaf is still well worth visiting if you have the chance.