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Ajloun Castle

Ajloun
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Ajloun Castle

It's easy to assume that any castle in the Middle East was probably built by a Crusader, but the one at Ajloun is a notable exception. Laid out in 1184 by Izz ad-Din Usama bin Munqidh, general and nephew of the great Saladdin it commands a truly terrific hilltop position above the town of Ajloun, daring anyone to raise arms against it.

The castle itself is relatively modest but it is excellently preserved, which is perhaps a surprise given its turbulent history – sacked by the Mongols, rebuilt by the Mamelukes, garrisoned by the Ottomans and repeatedly damaged by earthquakes. There is a small museum, but the atmospheric stonework and tremendous views from the ramparts are the real highlight of any visit here.