The Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles was built during the early years of the 12th century by the crusaders who were led by Raymond de Saint-Gilles of Toulouse. Over the course of history, the Citadel has been renovated and remodeled many times on the hands of the Fatimid, Mamluks and Ottomans. The magnificent Citadel (also known as Qal’at Sinjil) is constructed on a hill upcountry and overlooks the city of Tripoli, its significant strategic location was efficiently used to control and monitor land trade incoming from the busy port zone. When Raymond de Saint-Gilles arrived to Tripoli in 1099 with his Crusader army, the Ammars tried to convince them to sidestep the city by bribing them with expensive goods and gifts.
This attempt succeeded temporarily and Raymond returned to conquer the land approximately 3 years later. Pursuing defense and protection, the rulers of Tripoli called in support and military aid from Damascus and Homs. With only 300 soldiers, Raymond was able to defeat the three armies, conquer the rich terrain and build this Citadel. The current proportions of the castle are 140 meters long and 70 meters wide as a result of the large-scale restoration processes carried out by the governor of Tripoli in the beginning of the 19th century. In the present day, the fortress’s major features are few Crusader constructions from the 12th to 13th Century, several additions by the Mamluks in the 14th Century, and other enhancements by the Ottomans during the 16th Century.