Ajloun Castle / Ajlun Castle (عجلون)

Ajloun Castle / Ajlun Castle (عجلون)

Location: 50 km (31 mi) West of Amman Map

Constructed: 12th century

Tel. (02) 642 0115

Open: 8am- 5pm daily


History of Ajlun Castle

Ajloun Castle or Ajlun Castle (Qalat ar- Rabat in Arabic) is located 50 km (31 mi) West of Amman in Jordan. This magnificent medieval stronghold is one of the best preserved fortresses in Jordan from the time of Crusades. Ajlun Castle was constructed between 1184 and 1185 AD by Saracen leader Izz al- Din Usama, nephew of Salah ad-Din al-Ayyubi, more commonly known as Saladin. It was erected by the Muslim craftsmen to defend these lands against Crusader garrison in the citadel of Karak to the south of Ajlun Castle. It could also repel attacks launched from any of the European Christian fortresses spread throughout a region. This area as famous for its iron ore mines that was vital to waging wars against European knights. Additionally Ajlun defended strategic trade routes between Jordan and Syria that laid in the region.


Originally Ajlun citadel had four towers with narrow slits for soldiers who could throw spears or shoot arrows at the attackers. Additionally protective military walls were protected by a moat 16 meters wide and 15 meters deep. In 1215 the Mamluk governor Aibak ibn Abdullah expanded the fortress, added another south- east tower and constructing a new bridge decorated with figures of doves that can be seen even today. Reconstruction project was cut short by an invasion of the Mongol army. They captured Ajlun in 1260, but soon thereafter Mamluk sultan (Middle Eastern ruller) Baybars re- captured the stronghold and fixed damaged walls and defensive walls.

Ajlun Castle was inhabited until at least 19th century. Although it couldn't compete with new examples of firearm it still could protect the garrison against small attacks of local peasants. This explains why Ajlun Castle was preserved in such good condition. It hardly ever was used as a quarry. Today Ajlun Castle is one of the most visited places in Jordan. On a clear days you can even see golden domes of Jerusalem.


Tourism in Ajlun Castle

Today Ajlun Castle is open to the public. It houses an archeological museum with a collection of Byzantine artifacts that were found during excavation in the Ajlun fortress.


Aljlun Castle was protected by four towers with a deep defensive moat around military fortifications. Suspension bridge with a main gate was later added a the front gate. Its walls are covered by figures of peace doves. You can explore its vast structures above as well as under ground. Its subterranean rooms are particularly interesting as they preserved that medieval feel and architecture. As you step inside dark and cool rooms of Ajlun Fort you get a feeling that you transported through time to those bloody and interesting times. Drink plenty of water, protect yourself from the sun and don't try to be to zealous in exploring the cavities below surface. Some of them might be quiet dangerous.