Shobak Castle

Peeling through the layers of human history, the Middle East is littered with the ruins of Crusader castles. Following our sleepover with the Bedouin, we met our driver at Rum village for our transport to Wadi Musa and Petra. Since it was Saturday, and we wanted to arrive later in the day to avoid the crowds, we took a 40-minute detour north of Wadi Musa to the remains of Shobak Castle.

The castle is in various stages of excavation and reconstruction, but visitors can wander various parts of the castle to study the construction of this fortress. Among the ruins, there are stone carvings in Arabic script, possibly from the time when Saladin captured this fortress.

If you are feeling adventurous, and have a headlamp or flashlight (not your cell phone), you can follow the tunnel route all the way down to town.

From the photos, you can see that this castle accommodated a village, and was built for defense. Built in 1115, it withstood many attacks, falling 1189 to Saladin after an 18-month siege.

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