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Kerak Crusader Castle

Listed under Castles & Palaces in Jordan.

  • Photo of Kerak Crusader Castle
  • Photo of Kerak Crusader Castle
Photo of Kerak Crusader Castle
Photo by flickr user watchsmart
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Also called Crak des Moabites, the ruins of the grand Crusader fortress Kerak are perched on top of a rocky tor, a perfect spot for keeping watch on the rolling desert valleys it oversees. Proof of the military value of the position, close to the main highway from which tolls could be collected, come from earlier remains on the site, dating back to the Iron Age, around 1200BC, but it was the Crusaders who wrote this castle into history. The Crusaders built the ruins of today between 1130 and 1142 in two parts, both surrounded by the stout outer curtain walls but the town and citadel separated by a dry moat. Originally the only enterance was through underground tunnels (now it’s more peaceful that has changed.). Outside the citadel and castle is topped with five square towers, Inside it’s vault roofed rooms, heavy walled rounded corridors and substantial doors are typical Crusader castle, imposing and obviously military. Some of the best preserved sections are underground and in the lower section, these are also the oldest, with the most Crusader-esque on the top level. It took fifteen years of on and off attacks and sieges for Saladin’s army’s to take Kerak at the height of which there were nine catapults pummelling it’s walls. The Muslims were replaced by Mamlukes who did a lot of repairs and altered some of the architecture, and then by the Ottomans. A small but detailed museum is part of the site.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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