Al Karak Castle (cmrs)

 

Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Crusader Gate and Dry Moat
Crusader Gate
      
From the Ramparts
From the Ramparts
From the Ramparts
From the Ramparts
Miscellaneous Artifacts
Miscellaneous Artifacts
Miscellaneous Artifacts
Miscellaneous Artifacts
From the Ramparts
From the Ramparts
Karak
Karak
      
Above the Courtyard
Above the Courtyard
Above the Courtyard
Above the Courtyard
From the Ramparts
From the Ramparts
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
      
Recycling
Recycling
Karak
Karak
Entrance to the Stables
Entrance to the Stables
Stables
Stables
Toward the Crusader Gate
Toward the Crusader Gate
Nabataean Church
Nabataean Church
      
Recycling
Recycling
Recycling
Recycling
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Kitchen
Kitchen
Mamluk Keep
Mamluk Keep
      
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak
Karak

 

Image/s: circa 2005  Accesses: 277

 

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An ancient Crusader castle is surrounded on three sides by a valley, Karak commands a magnificent view of the Dead Sea.  The town is built on a triangular plateau, with the castle at its narrow southern tip.  Al Karak has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age, and was an important city for the Moabites.  It fell under the power of the Nabateans and the Romans took it from them in 105.  Under the Byzantine Empire it was a bishopric seat, housing the much venerated Church of Nazareth, and remained predominantly Christian under Arab rule.  Al Karak's greatest importance was during the Crusader and Ayyubid periods which were responsible for most of the architectural remains to date.  Construction of the Crusader castle began in the 1140s, under Pagan, the butler of Fulk of Jerusalem.  Pagan was also Lord of Transjordan, and Karak became the center of his power.  Because of its position east of the Jordan River, Karak was able to control Bedouin herders as well as the trade routes from Damascus to Egypt and Mecca.  His successors, his nephew Maurice and Philip of Milly, added towers and protected the north and south sides with two deep rock-cut ditches.  The southern ditch also served as a cistern.  The most notable Crusader architectural feature surviving is the north wall, into which are built immense arched halls on two levels.  These were used for living quarters and stables.  They also served as a fighting gallery overlooking the castle approach as a shelter against missiles from siege engines.  In 1176 Raynald of Chatillon gained possession of Karak after marrying Stephanie of Milly.  From Karak, Raynald harassed the trade caravans and even attempted an attack on Mecca itself.  In 1183 Saladin besieged the castle in response to Raynald's attacks.  The siege was relieved by King Baldwin IV.  After the Battle of Hattin in 1187, Saladin besieged Karak again and finally captured it in 1189.  In 1263, the Mamluk ruler Baybars enlarged and built a tower on the north-west corner.  In 1840, Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt captured the castle and destroyed much of its fortifications.  During the Ottoman period, it played an important role due to its strategic location on the crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Greater Syria.  The castle is a notable example of Crusader architecture.  Its walls are strengthened with rectangular projecting towers, long stone vaulted galleries are lighted only by narrow slits, and a deep moat completely isolates the site.

Reference/s: Wikipedia

Identifier: 32, Last Accessed: 2017-07-16 11:22:27

 

Copyright: © A. O. Newberry & Co. 2007-2017
All rights reserved.

Last Modified: Fri Jul 29 2016 09:10:20.

 

 



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