Citadel Saint-Gilles, Tripoli
One of the most popular castles in Lebanon is Citadel Saint-Gilles. First established in 636 CE by Arab commanders, the castle is like its native Tripoli—it’s among the oldest monuments in Lebanese history. The site was taken and retaken by the Crusaders, Mamluks, and Ottomans, due to its strategic nature. Everything about the fortress speaks of its inhabitants’ readiness for war. From arrow slits in the walls to balconies above the metal doors, the castle has the perfect defensive walls. What adds to the castle’s mystery is its submerged passageways that served as escape routes for leaders—one passageway is rumored to stretch all the way to Mina.