A Muslim Castle situated some 76 kilometres northeast of Amman. The solid fort was constructed by Izz al-Din Usama, commander and nephew of Saladin between 1184 and 1185. Apparently, it was constructed for several reasons. Firstly, to protect the region from the attacks of crusaders from the fortresses of Al Karak, to the south, and Beisan, to the west. Secondly, To protect communications between the south of Jordan and Syria, as, due to their location, there existed a narrow pass running from the northern Jordan Valley and the three main valleys that led to it, Wadi Kufranjah, Wadi Rajeb and Wadi Al-Yabes. Thirdly, to control the advancing kingdom of Jerusalem and as a replica of the Belvoir Fort, in the Sea of Galilee, in Israel. The final reason was to protect the iron mines in the region. The original castle had four towers. The thinner embrasures in the walls were added later as was the 16 metre wide moat that would surround the castle. The castle was shaken by earthquakes in 1837 and 1927, and is currently in the process of being restored, although you can easily visit from the city of Ajlun.
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