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Templar Castles in Outremer

Ru'ad

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Templar Castles in Outremer

Ru'ad

 

The island of Ru'ad lies a kilometre or so off the Syrian coast, near Tortosa. The capture of Ruad from the county of Tripoli was the main success of Saladin’s naval campaign of 1179–1180, demonstrating his revival of the Egyptian fleet. The subsequent history of the island is unclear with Templars, Cypriots and Hospitallers among others being in possession.
When Tortosa was abandoned by the Templars on 13th August 1291 as being indefensible following the fall of Acre the previous May the Templars retreated to
a simple, 13th-century, rectangular enclosure with rounded corner towers, on the offshore island of Ruad. This garrison of 120 knights and 500 archers held the island for more than a decade after the fall of the last Crusader outposts on the mainland.


In 1300, the Knights Templar sent a fleet from Cyprus to Ru'ad
in order to launch raids against the coast and also in an attempt to link up with an aborted Mongol invasion of Syria. However a powerful Mameluke fleet, including 20 galleys sent from Egypt. assaulted and recaptured Ru'ad in 1302. More than 500 Templars were killed or captured. (According to one source more than 2,000). The fortifications were razed and the island was later abandoned.

 


 

 

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