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Dick Osseman | profile | all galleries >> Ajlun Castle tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map

Ajlun Castle | Amman | Buildings in the desert | Irbid | Jerash | Kerak castle | Madaba | Pella | Petra | Shobeq (Shaubak) castle | Tell Mar Elias | Umm Quais | Umm er-Rasas minus Stephen | Saint Stephen church at Umm er-Rasas | On the road | Roman theatres in Jordan grouped together

Ajlun Castle

I quote from the Wikipedia: "Ajloun Castle Arabic: قلعة عجلون‎; transliterated: Qal'at Ajloun; transliterated: is an Ayyubid castle that stands atop Jabal Auf, near Ajloun, in northern Jordan." And: "This huge fortress was built by Izz al-Din Usama, a commander and nephew of Salah ad-Din al-Ayyubi (Saladin), in AD 1184-1185. The fortress is considered one of the very few built to protect the country against Crusader attacks from Karak in the south and Bisan in the west. From its situation, the fortress dominated a wide stretch of the northern Jordan Valley, controlled the three main passages that led to it (Wadi Kufranjah, Wadi Rajeb and Wadi al-Yabes), and protected the communication routes between south Jordan and Syria. It was built to contain the progress of the Latin Kingdom of Transjordan and as a retort to the castle of Belvoir a few miles south of the lake of Tiberias. Another major objective of the fortress was to protect the development and control of the iron mines of Ajlun. The original castle core had four corner towers. Arrow slits were incorporated in the thick walls and it was surrounded by a fosse averaging 16 meters (about 52 feet) in width and 12–15 meters (about 39–49 feet) in depth." And "After Usama's death, the castle was enlarged in AD 1214-1215 by Aibak ibn Abdullah, the Mamluk governor. He added a new tower in the southeast corner and built the gate. The castle lost its military importance after the fall of Karak in AD 1187 to the Ayyubids. In the middle of the 13th century AD, the castle was conceded to Yousef ibn Ayoub, King of Aleppo and Damascus, who restored the northeastern tower and used the castle as an administrative center. In 1260 AD, the Mongols destroyed sections of the castle, including its battlements. Soon after the victory of the Mamluks over the Mongols at Ain Jalut, Sultan ad-Dhaher Baibars restored the castle and cleared the fosse. The castle was used as a storehouse for crops and provisions. When Izz ad-Din Aibak was appointed governor, he renovated the castle as indicated by an inscription found in the castle's south-western tower."
If you like castles, see my collection of pictures of major castles in Turkey, Syria and now Jordan.
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