Thursday, 26 June 2008

Aljun Castle (Qala'at ar-Rabad)

We drove through the outskirts of Amman and continued north to reach Aljun Castle (Qala'at ar-Rabad), an Islamic fortress high on a mountain with views across to Syria and Israel. It was built to counter the threat of the Crusaders. They had their own castle, Belvoire, on Lake Tiberius. It held off the Crusaders, but then it fell to the Mongols in the 13th century.

Later, it was rebuilt by the Mamluks and it remains a really good example of early Muslim castle-building. The highlight of the visit, however, is the breathtaking views from the castle's mountaintop perch.