Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi Citadel is considered one of the most prominent castles in Islamic history, representing a symbol of steadfastness and heroism in the face of the Crusader invasion. This majestic castle is located on a mountain peak overlooking the Syrian city of Latakia, and it is considered one of the most important historical monuments that tells stories of jihad, defense of land, and honor. This castle was originally built to be a strategic point to repel Crusaders attacks and defend the surrounding Islamic regions. It was distinguished by its unique architectural design, which reflects the ingenuity and craftsmanship enjoyed by Muslims in that period.
Saladin Al-Ayyubi, who returned Jerusalem to the arms of Muslims after a long period of Crusader occupation, played a major role in strengthening and fortifying this castle, making it a symbol of resistance and steadfastness. Throughout the ages, the Citadel of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi has witnessed many battles and wars, but it has remained standing tall, telling generations the stories of heroism and sacrifice made by our ancestors in order to defend religion and the homeland.
In this article, we will take you on a historical tour to discover the secrets of this great castle, and learn about the most important events it witnessed, and how they contributed to shaping Islamic and Arab history.
Salah al-den al-ayobi’s castle.
Ajloun Castle, also known as the medieval Rabd Castle, is a 12th-century Islamic castle located in northwestern Jordan. It was built on a peak belonging to the Jabal Ajloun area, which is also known as Jabal Awf after the Bedouin tribe that took over the area in the 12th century. From its elevated position, the citadel guarded three valleys descending towards the Jordan Valley. It was built by the Ayyubids in the 12th century and expanded by the Mamluks in the 13th century.
The name “Ajloun” goes back to a Christian monk who lived on this mountain during the Byzantine period. The castle became the nucleus of a settlement that grew into the current city of Ajloun. The development of the suburb around the castle led to its second name, Qal’at al-Rabad, which means “castle of the suburb” or “castle with suburbs”.
Ajloun Castle is located on the site of an ancient monastery, the ruins of which were discovered during archaeological excavations. Traditionally, the name “Ajlun” goes back to a monk who lived in the area during the Byzantine period.
The Ayyubid Castle in the twelfth century
The citadel was rebuilt as a citadel in 1184 by Izz al-Din Usama, a general in Saladin’s army. The citadel controlled traffic on the road linking Damascus and Egypt. From its location, the citadel controlled a large area of the northern Jordan Valley, controlled the three main passes that led to it, and protected the communication routes between southern Jordan and Syria.
During the Ottoman period, a unit of fifty soldiers was stationed inside the castle. During the first quarter of the 17th century, Emir Fakhr al-Din al-Ma’ni II used the castle during his fight against Ahmad ibn Tarbay.
Earthquakes and restoration
Devastating earthquakes struck the castle in 1837 and 1927. Recently, the Jordanian Department of Antiquities sponsored a program to restore and consolidate the walls and rebuilt the bridge over the moat.
Ajloun Castle opens its doors to tourism. Tourists can visit many areas of the castle. Inside the castle, there is also a museum exhibit with many interesting artifacts from various time periods of the region.
Archaeological discoveries in Ajloun.
Ajloun is a region with a rich history and deep cultural heritage in Jordan. The region has witnessed many archaeological discoveries that reflect its complex and diverse history. Here is an overview of some of the archaeological finds in Ajloun:
- Ajloun Castle (Al-Rabad Castle): It is considered one of the most prominent archaeological monuments in the region. It was built in the Middle Ages to protect the region from Crusade attacks. The castle is located on top of a mountain and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
- Roman archaeological sites: Ajloun contains many sites dating back to the Roman era, such as columns, theaters, and temples.
- Byzantine churches: The remains of several Byzantine churches have been found in the area, which reflect the Christian presence in the region during the Middle Ages.
- Caves and ancient cemeteries: The area contains many caves and cemeteries dating back to ancient times, which reflect the ways in which people lived and buried their dead in that period.
- Ancient settlements: Remains of settlements dating back to various eras, from the Bronze Age to Islamic times, were found, which reflect the historical development of the region.
- Tools and pottery: Many tools and pottery dating back to different eras were found, which reflect the daily life and culture of the region’s inhabitants in the past.
These archaeological finds in Ajloun are evidence of the historical and cultural importance of the region. It contributes to attracting tourists and researchers from all over the world to explore its rich history and heritage.