Desert Castles

Jordan’s desert castles, beautiful examples of both early Islamic art and architecture, stand testament to a fascinating era in the country’s rich history. Their fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations, inspired by the best in Persian and Graeco-Roman traditions, tell countless stories of the life as it was during the 8th century. Called castles because of their imposing stature, the desert complexes actually served various purposes as caravan stations, agriculture and trade centres, resort pavilions and outposts that helped distant rulers forge ties with local Bedouins. Several of these preserved compounds, all of which are clustered to the east and south of Amman, can be visited on one – or two-day loops from the city.

Qusair Amra, one of the best preserved monuments, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its interior walls and ceilings are covered with lively frescoes, and two of the rooms are paved with colorful mosaics.

Qasr Mushatta, Qasr al – Kharrana, Qasr at -Tuba and Qasr al – Hallabat have been restored and are all in excellent condition. The black basalt fort at Azraq, in continuous use since Late Roman times, was the headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia during the Arab Revolt.

Qusair Amra is a UNESCO world heritage site.

For those fascinated by the Crusader Legends and Lore, a second group of castles beckons. The scenic Kings Highway is littered with the remains of Crusaders forts and outposts. The most important among these are Karak and Shobak – fascinating examples of architectural and military traditions of the time. Their galleries, towers, chapels and ramparts still echo with the resolve of the Crusaders who built them almost a thousand years ago.

Ajloun Castle (also known as Qal’at [Castle] ar-Rabad) was built in 1184 by ‘Izz ad-Din Usama bin Munqidh, a general of Saladin, who defeated the Crusaders in 1187. A fine example of Islamic architecture, the fortress dominated a wide stretch of the northern Jordan Valley and passages to it. From its hilltop position, Ajloun Castle protected the communication routes between south Jordan and Syria, and was one of a chain of forts, which lit beacons at night to pass signals from the Euphrates as far as Cairo. Today, Ajloun Castle is a splendid sight with a fascinating warren of towers, chambers, galleries and staircases to explore, while its hilltop position offers stunning views.

BOOK YOUR TRIP TODAY!

ِARANDA VIP TOURS

aranda vip tours is an independent professional destination management company , Jordan tour operator and conference organiser founded in 2015. Our mission is to provide every client with the best product and service possible, combined with professionalism, integrity and value, in a framework of responsible tourism. Through our long history, we have earned the trust of our clients by offering them quality services, honest advice and the support they required in Jordan.

Have any questions? Contact us!

+962 790384841

Sunday - Thursday: 10.00 AM - 17.00 PM

    Select tour

    Number of persons

    Name*

    Mail*

    Phone number*

    Additional info