Signed in as:
Signed in as:
1 Keep or Donjon
2 Stairs to Roof
3 Stairs to Plateform
4 Tower Plateform
5 Curtain Walls
6 Grand Hall
8 Stairs to Upper Floor
9 Ground Gate
10 North Tower Room
11 Entrance Bridge
This Crusader castle of Byblos is a rectangular enclosure of 50x45m. The edifice is in a square shape and is composed of one central tower with foundations at an elevated level, accessible by an arch bridge, and four corner towers with doors giving to the surrounding lower grounds. The two stories dungeon or keep is the center piece of the castle. It is 22x18m. The architecture of castles is of Romanesque Style with influence of Norman architecture. To circulate between floors a staircase is built within the thickness of the walls.
The style has links to the byzantine and ancient Roman architecture. It has features common with French and German Romanesque style. The style shows also influence of Norman and Islamic architecture. Romanesque architecture is known by its massive features with regular or symmetric proportions and forms and the overall simplicity of the form. The architecture style has modular form. The architecture is characterized by thick walls and stairs and corridors and sometimes rooms are embedded within the thickness of the wall. The vault system is mainly used for the roof supported by mas-sive square piers. The walls usually are double shelled filled with rubble with circular granite columns salvaged from the Roman era layed horizontally to tie the outer shell to the inner shell. The style shows lack of sculpture and the presence of geometric and rhythmic ornamentation.
The curtain wall was constituted of two strong walls of masonry, the space in between was filled with earth and rubble. They were protected by fire from the towers. The outer of these walls was raised above the parapet walk with a crenellated platform. From earliest antiquity the usefulness of towers had been recognized for the purpose of taking the besiegers in flank when they attacked the curtains. The Roman Method of constructing the walls of a fortification is to flank the walls with towers permitting from the tower to see what was going on. Each tower was a small independent fort. They were to prevent the besiegers from establishing themselves on the walls rendering the ramparts not easy of access. Towers face to face were built on the two sides of the bridge. The towers were raised above these curtains, and their communication with the latter might be cut off. The donjon or keep serves as a second line of refuge. It was a detached defense stronger than all the others. The donjon commands the system of defense and the walls.
Byblos surrendered to Raymond St-Gilles (Lord of Tripoli) on 18th of February 1102. The city stayed under the lordship of the Genoese family, the Embriacios, and was part of the county of Tripoli till it surrendered to Saladin in 1187. The castle returned to the Embriacos in 1197 and remained till 1282.
The Porcellt of Triploi and the Gibelets, the Embriacis, of Byblos will be intimately related to create a characteristic which is Porcelet-Gibelet. The Porcelet-Gibelet will create a lineage of vassals of the County of Tripoli.
The vassal structure at the time of the crusades in the county of Tripoli as well as in Byblos was mostly military and political. They participated in the administration of justice and the government. Each castle has its borough sheltering a Christian population. It was the bourgeois who guarded the walls, just as they supplied contingents of sergeants to the royal, princely or lord order. The vassalage of Tripoli was with regard to royalty analogous to that of the great feudal lords of France. The king was supreme chief of this warrior hierarchy. It was the application of the primitive and pure principles of the feudal system, and to found under the name of royalty a true military aristocracy.
The rent occupies an important place in this economic structure of the reign of the crusaders in the county of Tripoli as well as in Byblos. A 10% tax was levied on all personal property income of all subjects in the kingdom. The Franks during the crusades used a certain currency of gold and silver. They published coins with Arab legends struck in Lebanon by the Crusaders. The Saracen gold beet was also used during the Crusades. Throughout their relationship with Byzantium the Crusaders have know the Byzantine currency. The monetary system of the Crusaders functioned with a local currency issued by each principality alongside of an international currency capable of being the medium of exchange in the transactions through countries part of the Mediterranean East. The local coins bear the name of their place of striking.