Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jewels of Jordan: Ajlun Castle

The entrance/exit

A view from Ajlun Castle

Near the entrance

One gets a 360° view of Jordan, Palestine and Israel from the rooftop of Ajlun Castle

A postbox

Photos by SkyJuice and Qusai Alazzam.
© All rights reserved.

Ajlun Castle (Qal'at Al–Rabad) was built by Izz al–Din Usama, a commander and nephew of Salah Aldin al–Ayoubi (Saladin), from 1184–1185 AD to control the iron mines of Ajlun, and to deter the Franks from invading Ajlun.

Ajlun Castle dominated the three main routes leading to the Jordan Valley and protected the trade and commercial routes between Jordan and Syria. It became an important link in the defensive chain against the Crusaders, who unsuccessfully spent decades trying to capture the castle and the nearby village.

The original castle had four towers – arrow slits were incorporated into the thick walls and it was surrounded by a moat averaging 16 meters in width and up to 15 meters deep.
In 1215 AD, the Mameluk officer, Aibak ibn Abdullah, expanded the castle following Usama's death, by adding a new tower in the southeast corner and a bridge that can still be seen decorated with pigeon reliefs.

The castle was conceded in the 13th century to Salah Aldin al–Ayoubi, ruler of Aleppo and Damascus, who restored the northeastern tower. These expansion efforts were interrupted in 1260 AD, when Mongol invaders destroyed the castle, but almost immediately, the Mameluk Sultan Baybars reconquered and rebuilt the fortress.



Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Skyjuice:)

Many thanks for letting me tour this wonderful ancient and historical place which looks impregnable and impervious to enemy attacks. The construction is awe inspiring considering the elaborate structures and the amount of planning, labor and expenses that would have needed to construct it.The place is a testimony of the skill of the ancestors to build a strong palace with all facilities for a comfortable secure livig

The view from the place is breath taking. I can see you had a wonderful time and an intensive study of history.

For armchair travelers like me this ia a real treat.

Have a nice day:)

SkyJuice said...

Thank you, Joseph. It's always a pleasure reading your comments.

Enjoy the rest of your week! :-)

Katarina said...

Very cool pictures of Ajlun, thanks a lot!

SkyJuice said...

You're welcome, Katarina. Thanks for dropping by. :-)