Templar Castle: Ruad Island, Syria

Templar Castle: Ruad Island, Syria

Lying just off the coast of the one-time crusader town of Tortosa, this tiny island (also known as Ru’ad) was the site of one of the Templars’ last major battles.

This sole island fortress in Syria gave the Knights a bridgehead and staging area to raid into Syria and especially Tortosa, now called Tartus, on the shore.

This was the last piece of land held by the Templars in the Holy Land. The knights’ Arwad Castle on Ruad Island off the Syria Coast maintained a garrison of 120 knights, 400 bowmen and several hundred infantry men up until 1302. 

The Muslims laid siege to the island a negotiated a surrender where safe passage was guaranteed for the surrender, but the Muslim’s dishonorably broke that negotiated cease fire by executing all the infantry and bowmen and sending the remaining Knights Templar to Cairo to be imprisoned.