Fairy-tale castles in Bolzano, Italy, and along the German Romantic Road might be what most package tourists expect, but many travelers don’t realize the Middle East can hold its own when it comes to entertaining castle fans. That’s because many of the ancient Crusader castles built during the battles for control of the Holy Land are still standing throughout the region. Many are remarkably well preserved. Add to that the fact that many of them are situated in extremely picturesque locations in a part of the world considered by many to be sacred, and it’s easy to see why they’re very popular with tourists. Here are a handful of great structures to see when touring the Middle East.