The Citadel of Salah Ed-Din is a castle in Syria. It is also known as Saône or Saladin Castle. It is located 7 km east of Al-Haffah town and 30 km east of the city of Latakia, in high mountainous terrain on a ridge between two deep ravines and surrounded by forest, the site has been fortified since at least the mid 10th century. In 975 the Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimiskes captured the site and it remained under Byzantine control until around 1108.
Early in the 12th century the Franks assumed control of the site and it was part of the newly formed Crusader state of the Principality of Antioch. The Crusaders undertook an extensive building programme, giving the castle much of its current appearance. In 1188 it fell to the forces of Saladin after a three-day siege.
The castle was again besieged in 1287, this time both defender and belligerent were Mamluks. In 2006, the castles of Qal'at Salah El-Din and Krak des Chevaliers was recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The site is owned by the Syrian government.
The traditional name of the site is Sahyun, the Arabic equivalent of Zion. This, according to historian Hugh N. Kennedy, is why it has now been given the more politically correct title of Qal'at Salah al-Din, meaning Saladin's Castle. The site has been fortified since at least the mid-10th century. Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimiskes captured it in 975 from the Aleppan Hamdanid dynasty.
It remained under Byzantine control until around 1108 when the Franks took control of Latakia, at which point it is likely they also took possession of Saône. It was part of the Principality of Antioch, one of the four states founded by the Crusaders after the First Crusade captured Jerusalem in 1099.
Saladin granted Saône and Bourzey Castle to one of his amirs, Mankawar. The pair descended through his heirs until 1272 when Saône was given to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars. Some time in the 1280s a new amir, Sunqur al-Ashqur, was in control and under him the castle became the administrative centre of a "small semi-independent emirate".
In 1287 it was captured by the forces of Sultan Qala'un and made a part of the province of Tripoli. In late 1286 and early 1287, Sultan Kalavun set out to repress his rivals which including curtailing Sunqur's independence. The citadel was made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, along with Krak des Chevaliers, in 2006. During the Syrian uprising which began in 2011 UNESCO voiced concerns that the conflict might lead to the damage of important cultural sites such as Citadel of Salah Ed-Din.