Discover the ruins of Ajloun Castle, built by General Saladdin as a defence against the Franks in the 12th century. See watchtowers, preserved mosaic floors and carved doors, and get glorious views of the Aljoun Mountains.
What to Expect
Explore the 12th-century castle of Ajloun, located approximately 47 miles (76 kilometers) northwest of Amman. Built for General Saladin, it was used to control the iron mines of Ajlun and as a defence against invasions by the Franks.
The castle dominated the 3 main roads leading to the Jordan Valley, and protected the trade and commercial routes between Jordan and Syria. It became an important link in the defensive chain against the Crusaders, who spent decades trying and failing to capture the castle and nearby village.
The original castle had 4 towers, with arrow slits built into the thick walls, and a 52-foot wide moat that was up to 50 feet (15 meters) deep. In 1215 AD, the Mameluk officer Aibak ibn Abdullah expanded the castle, adding a bridge and new tower that was decorated with pigeon reliefs and can still be seen today.
The castle was conceded in the 13th century to Salah ed-Din Yousef Ibn Ayoub, ruler of Aleppo and Damascus. He restored the northeastern tower, but these expansions were interrupted when Mongol invaders destroyed the castle, only for it to be almost immediately re-conquered and rebuilt by the Mameluk Sultan Baybars.
Salah ed-Din soldiers guard the castle every day from the four separate gates, 2 of which are located the roof where a yellow Mameluk flies. Siege ladders lean against the wall adding to the war-like atmosphere.
- Entrance fees as per program
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off in central Amman