A Crusader, then Mamluk, Castle on the King’s Highway in Jordan

Karak Castle is a 12th Century castle built by Crusaders in their attempts to take over the Holy Land. In the 13th Century, Islamic forces successfully laid siege to the castle and forced the Catholic family who controlled it to surrender the castle and its strategic location over the valley. The Mamluks used the castle to control the trade and caravan route below.

The King’s Highway was a trade route connecting Africa with the Middle East. It had been in use since antiquity, and during Crusader times went through what was called the Kingdom of Jerusalem, where Kerak could be found.

img_20180223_125713The lights are not from the Middle Ages

During the time of the Ottoman Empire, the castle was important due to its location on the roads between the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and Syria, all three were large and powerful economic, political and military centers.

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The valley over which the castle looks
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Kerak Castle

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the modern entrance

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some of the castle, from the road below

 

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