The ruins of the Crusader castles of Jordan serve as a reminder of the bloody battles that once took place between the Christians and Muslems and that shook the Near East at a time in history known as The Crusades.
Around four kilometres from the small town of Ajlun is Jordanís sole surviving castle, Qalaat Ar-Rabad. It was designed to protect the pilgrims who were on their way to Mecca but was also a symbol of military power aimed well and truly at the Crusaders.
The year 1115 marked not only the victory of the Crusaders at the Battle Of Tell Danit but also the beginning of Shoubakís construction. After a siege that lasted eighteen months, Shoubak fell in 1189 to Ayyubid. Shortly afterwards, it was enlarged by the Marmeluccs and in the 19th century, the Ottomans moved into the fortress.
The most famous of the Crusader castles is situated in the city of Kerak, around 20 kilometres southeast of the southernmost extremity of the Dead Sea. The fortress had great strategic importance as those who controlled Al Kerak, also controlled large areas of Palestine and an area that extended to the southern section of the Dead Sea.
Almost 100 years after the conquest of the fortress, the last French outposts in the Near East were also abandoned and today, it is only the mighty and impressive ruins of the Crusaders that have survived, an atmospheric reminder of a glorious and colorful past.
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