With such a regal history it should come as no surprise that Jordan was once home to grand castles. These Crusader Castles were used to guard important trade routes and today they entice many visitors from around the world who wish to explore the ruins of these fascinating fortresses.
There are six crusader castles in Jordan which each played important roles during the Crusades. We have selected the top three crusader castles in Jordan but this list is far from exhaustive and whichever crusader castle you decide to visit in Jordan you are sure to discover fascinating stories and stunning ancient architecture.
Karak Castle is perhaps the most legendary of the crusader castles in Jordan due to its significant role in Nabataean history. Karak Castle was built in the 12th Century and is believed to have been designed by the king of Israel at the time. The castle is located around 124 kilometers from the capital city of Amman and visitors can get there by car, taxi or an organized tour. The castle is split over seven levels of passageways, dungeons, kitchens and a chapel.
There is also a museum with artifacts and historical information about the castle. On a clear day, visitors can see as far as the Dead Sea from the top of the castle. More recently this castle has been involved in the conflict with ISIS and visitors should check local travel advice before visiting.
Set atop a mountain, Shobak Castle is an enchanting castle that was built in 1115 under the rule of King Baldwin I. Shobak castle is particularly striking due to its remote location which will make you feel a world away from home. Visitors can explore the castle ruins and the secret passageway that leads to a charming spring. The castle boasts two churches, a watchtower, catacombs and a number of Christian carvings and Islamic tablets. Entrance to Shobak castle is 1JD (1.41USD).
Qasr Al Azraq
This crusader castle dates back to around 300AD although the section of the castle that remains today was constructed in 1237. Qasr Al Azraq is a historically significant castle that was once the home for TE Lawrence for a short time during the Arab Revolt in 1917. Visitors can easily reach Qasr Al Azraq from North Azraq which is just five kilometers away. Entrance costs just 1JD (1.41 USD) and a taxi will usually charge around 2JD (2.82 USD).
Crusader Castles in Jordan
With six crusader castles to choose from visitors to Jordan are spoilt for choice. As most crusader castles were constructed in remote parts of Jordan they can be difficult to reach. The best way to explore the castles is either by car rental or an organized tour. Organised tours can be arranged through hotels in the major cities and towns. The crusader castles are a significant part of Jordanian history and each one has been well preserved to attract visitors.