Kights Templar Castle, Bagras, Turkey

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Kights Templar Castle, Bagras, Turkey

Bagras is a castle in the İskenderun district of Turkey, in the Amanus Mountains. The castle was erected c. 965 by the Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, who stationed there 1000 footmen and 500 horsemen under the command of Michael Bourtzes to raid the countryside of the nearby city of Antioch.

It was then rebuilt about 1153 by the Knights Templar under the name Gaston (also Gastun, Guascon, Gastim) and held by them or by the Principality of Antioch until it was forced to capitulate to Saladin on 26 August 1189. It was retaken in 1191 by the Armenians (under Leo II), and their possession of it became a major point of contention between them and the Antiochenes and Templars.

After much negotiation, it was finally returned to the Templars in 1216. According to the Armenian chronicles, it withstood a siege by the forces of Aleppo at about this time. 

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