Qalaat al-Madiq (قلعة المضيق) is a large village located on the main road that travels the length of the eastern side of the al-Ghab plain north of al-Suqeilbiyeh (الصفيلبية). While most well-known for the neighboring site of Apamea (آفاميا), Qalaat al-Madiq (قلعة المضيق) itself has a few attractions of note. Foremost is the castle that overlooks the town, which was largely constructed from remains of the nearby Roman and Byzantine site (though the position was originally fortified at least as early as the Seleucid period). The castle is still inhabited by villagers and is in an unfortunately poor state of preservation.
Below the castle is an attractive Ottoman-era mosque that dates from the 16th century. Additionally, an Ottoman-era khan in the south of the village, also dating to the 16th century, is now used as a museum. This museum houses many finds from Apamea (آفاميا), mostly mosaics and statuary, and is well worth a visit. It was originally used for pilgrims traveling on the route from Istanbul to Mecca, and is one of the more impressive khans in the country. The village is walking distance from Apamea (آفاميا), but several hours should be allowed for the exploration of both sites.
Getting There: Regular microbuses travel from Hama (حماة) to al-Suqeilbiyeh (الصفيلبية), which takes about 45 minutes. From there, frequent microbuses traveling north pass by Qalaat al-Madiq (قلعة المضيق), another six kilometers to the north.