Trapesac Castle, locally known as Darbsak or Terbezek Kalesi, lies on a small oblong outcrop of limestone in the small village of Alaybeyli in the province of Hatay in Turkey.
Trapesac Castle was most certainly built by the Franks during the 11th century as a garrison fort. Later it was ceded to the Templars. The castle guarded the strategic road to Antioch and the north approach to the Belen pass (also known as the Syrian Gates) through the Nur Mountains. The south approach to this pass was guarded by Baghras Castle, 10 miles to the south.
Around 1171 Trapesac Castle, along with Baghras Castle, was taken by a renegade Armenian baron; Mleh. In 1175, after the death of Mleh, the Templars regained the castle. In 1188 the castle was taken by Saladin, the Ayyubid Sultan, after a heavy siege which had lasted for 2 weeks.
In 1205 Leo I, King of Cilician Armenia, failed to take Trapesac Castle, then in the hands of the prince of Aleppo, in a surprise attack. In 1237 an attempt by the Crusaders to oust the Saracen garrison from the castle also failed miserably. From 1261 on the Armenians held Trapesac Castle (as a gift from the Mongol Khan Hulagu) but had to surrender to the Mamluks in 1266. In 1280 the castle suffered a very destructive assault by the Mongols.
At present the modern village has covered much of the original castle grounds and a modern dead-end road to accommodate cars was terraced into the east face of the outcrop. There are still some remains of the castle but I found it difficult to envisage its original layout. There is a Crusader aqueduct at the west side of the outcrop.