AL-Karak Castle

Jordan Tour


 AL-Karak Castle  Located in the governorate of Karak, in the south of Jordan at a distance of 120 kilometers from the capital Amman.

Al-Karak Castle one of the largest and most important castles of the Crusades in Jordan and the Levant,

the castle we see today essentially dates back to the 12th century, Karak has been a fortress since biblical times.

The Bible relates how the King of Israel and his allies from Judah and Edom ravaged Moab and besieged its king

Mesha in the fortress of Kir Heres.

History of AL-Karak Castle

It was the Crusaders who made Al-Karak (biblical Charach Mouba) built-in 1142 by Payen le Bouteiller,

lord of Montreal and of the province of Oultre Jourdain, on the remains of earlier citadels, which date back to Nabataean times.

He made Al-Karak the new capital of the province, for its location on the King’s Highway,

where it could control all traffic from north and south and grow rich by the imposition of road-tolls.

Pagan was also Lord of Oultrejordain and Al-Karak Castle became the center of his power, replacing the weaker castle of Montreal to the south. Jordan Tour

Because of its position east of the Dead Sea, Al-Karak Castle was able to control Bedouin herders as well as the trade routes from Damascus to Egypt and Mecca.

His successors, his nephew Maurice and Philip of Milly, added towers and protected the north and south sides

with two deep rock-cut ditches (the southern ditch also serving as a cistern).

The most notable Crusader architectural feature surviving is the north wall, into which are built immense arched

halls on two levels. These were used for living quarters and stables, but also served as a fighting gallery

overlooking the castle approach and for shelter against missiles from siege engines.

In 1183 Saladin besieged Al-Karak castle in response to Raynald’s attacks.

The siege took place during the marriage of Humphrey IV of Toron and Isabella I of Jerusalem,

The siege relieved by Baldwin IV of Jerusalem.

Salah Al-Din Role

Salah Al-Din besieged Kerak again in 1184.  just like the first siege of Al-Karak, Salah Al-Din and his men left before a reinforcing crusader army could come to the castle’s aid. This siege only lasted four weeks.

The last siege of the 12th century was led by Sa’d Al-Din, Saladin’s nephew, in 1188.

As a result of this siege, which lasted several months, the fortress of Al-Karak fell due

to the lack of weapons and not the lack of food. With the fall of the fortress of Al-Karak, the fortress of Montréal fell

AL-Karak Castle