The original castle was built in 1031 for the emir of Aleppo. During the First Crusade in 1099 it was captured by Raymond IV of Toulouse, but then abandoned when the Crusaders continued their march towards Jerusalem. It was reoccupied again by Tancred, Prince of Galilee in 1110. The early castle was very different to the extant remains. It originally consisted of a single enclosure, coterminous with the inner ward (fortified enclosure) of the present castle. In 1142 it was given by Raymond II, count of Tripoli, to the Knights Hospitaller. It remained in their possession until it fell in 1271.
Krak des Chevaliers was the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades. It was expanded between 1150 and 1250 and eventually housed a garrison of 2,000.
In 1163 the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Nur ad-Din Zengi, after which the Hospitallers became an essentially independent force on the Tripolitanian frontier. By 1170 the Hospitallers' modifications were complete. In the late 12th and early 13th century numerous earthquakes caused some damage and required further rebuilding.
Saladin unsuccessfully besieged the castle in 1188. During the siege the castellan was captured and taken by Saladin's men to the castle gates where he was told to order the gates opened.
In 1217, during the Fifth Crusade, king Andrew II of Hungary strengthened the outer walls and financed the guarding troops. In 1271 the fortress was captured by Mamluk Sultan Baibars on April 8 with the aid of heavy trebuchets and mangonels, at least one of which was later used to attack Acre in 1291. However, to conquer the castle, Baibars used a trick, by presenting a forged letter from the Crusader Commander in Tripoli, ordering the defenders to surrender the castle. Otherwise, this immensely strong castle would probably never have fallen. Baibars refortified the castle and used it as a base against Tripoli. He also converted the Hospitaller chapel to a mosque.
This map is,a good test of scils for newbel players,try it out there are several strategys to sige,and wach out for the enemy knights.....