Ajloun Castle, more formally known as Qal’at Ar-Rabad, is the major ancient monument within the Ajloun region. It towers above the green hills and can be seen from many miles away, betraying its strategic purpose as a military watch post that protected the trade routes in the 12th-15th centuries.
|The Castle can be viewed several miles away|
It was first built in 1184 by one of Saladin’s generals, Izzeddin Usama Mungidh, to repel the Crusader threats to north Jordan (the Crusaders had already occupied south Jordan, from their massive castles at Showbak and Karak, and were driven out of TransJordan in 1188/1189). The Ajloun castle was expanded into its current configuration in 1214.
Inside the Castle
The castle is one of the best preserved and most complete examples of Medieval Arab-Islamic military architecture. Among its main features are a surrounding dry moat, a drawbridge into the main entrance, the fortified entrance gate (with decorative stone pigeon carvings), a massive south tower, and several other towers on all sides. The castle boasts a labyrinth of vaulted passages, winding staircases, long ramps, enormous rooms that served as dining halls, dormitories, and stables, a total of 11 water cisterns, and the private quarters of the Lord of the Castle (complete with a small stone bathtub and rectangular windows that convert into arrow-slits for defensive purposes).
View from the Top
From the top of the castle, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Jordan Valley and the highlands of north Jordan. Excavations have recently identified a church that was built on the castle site in the earlier Byzantine period, while restoration and conservation works have made all areas of the castle accessible and safe for visitors.
My personal experience
The Castle is really a sight to behold, however climbing up is not for the older generation. Some steps are uneven, rough or sometimes slippery so you need to go slow.
There are many levels. Actually I was able to go around 2/3 of the height cause I surrendered 🙂 The oldest in the group stayed at the ground, another went almost halfway.
|The last level with a few steps more but I decided to just stay|
|Another View from the top, thats why I decided not to climb the last steps cause you see the same|
|You need to cross this bridge before you get to the entrance|
|Entrance to the Castle|
|The Castle Museum|
|Slowly getting to the top|