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Private Full-Day Crusader Castles of Shobak and Karak Trip via the Kings...
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Perched in a wild, remote landscape, Shobak Castle wins over even the most castle-weary, despite being less complete than its sister fortification at Karak. Formerly called Mons Realis (the Royal Mountain), it was built by the Crusader king Baldwin I in AD 1115. Restoration work is ongoing and hopefully this will include some explanatory signs. In the meantime, the caretaker shows visitors around for about JD10. Bring a torch for exploring the castle’s many dark corners. Built on a small knoll at the edge of a plateau, Shobak Castle is especially imposing when seen from a distance. It withstood numerous attacks from the armies of Saladin before succumbing in 1189 (a year after Karak), after an 18-month siege. It was later occupied in the 14th century by the Mamluks, who built over many of the Crusader buildings. As you climb up from the entrance, there are some wells on the left. Soon after passing these, you’ll see the reconstructed church, one of two in the castle, down to the left. It has an elegant apse supported by two smaller alcoves. The room leading off to the west was the baptistery; on the north wall there are traces of water channels leading from above. Returning to the main path, turn left. After passing under the arches, a door leads into the extensive market. Turn left and descend 375 steps into an amazing secret passageway that leads to a subterranean spring, finally surfacing via a ladder outside the castle, beside the road to Shobak town. Tread carefully, use a torch and don’t even think about coming down here if you’re claustrophobic. Alternatively, continue past the tunnel for 50m and you’ll pass a large two-storey building with archways, built by the Crusaders but adapted by the Mamluks as a school. At the northern end of the castle is the semicircular keep with four arrow slits. Outside, dark steps lead down to the prison. Head to the northeast corner of the castle to see Quranic inscriptions, possibly dating from the time of Saladin, carved in Kufic script around the outside
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Petra - Wadi Musa 71810, Jordan
+962 7 7707 2750

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1 - 10 of 495 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

This site epitomized the history of Jordan...Nabateans, Romans, Crusaders, Saladin, Mamluks, Ottomans, Arabs.....building, rebuilding and natural destruction....better than any movie.

Thank BradDarwin
Reviewed 1 week ago

This is one of many "Crusaders' Castles" found in Jordan. Mildly interesting, but only if you're looking for something to fill time (or you're a real history buff). Shobak is located 2 hours south of Amman and about an hour north of Petra. It's located...More

Thank Luv2TravelFarNWide
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Shobak is well worht a visit as you are en route from Karak to Petra or vice versa. Although not nearly as grand or well preserved as Karak it nevertheless has a wonderfully remote and grand situation. You may well find yourself with the place...More

Thank DougF45
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have been in Karak and wanted also see this other crusaders castle. It was smaller than Karak and even less to see when it was most runier, you needed more ideas about how it could be then many years ago. It was almost better...More

Thank Khamlia
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

A group of 20 of us visited this site, from the bus there is a steep road to get to the castle which you have to walk, so I would say you need to be semi fit, the castle is a ruin but you can...More

Thank JackieTraveller
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Shobak Castle requires more imagination than Karak Castle - mainly because it's in a more ruined state, but with the help of a good guide who offered his services at the entrance, history really came alive here. Plus, our guide took us through the castle's...More

Thank Karen M
Reviewed 10 May 2017

I'm splitting the diff with 4 stars. There is absolutely nothing here by way of explanation, but I knew that and came prepared with a detailed walking guide of the site, and some history, compiled from a few guidebooks. It was very useful but even...More

Thank Jordyn G
Reviewed 10 May 2017

It is truly an impressive structure, at a dramatic location. Wandering up and down the rocks and stairs and remaining walls consolidate the first impression of its vastness. With a guide, I heard its history, the various rooms, the various Christian and Islamic carvings remaining...More

Thank Sebastiensh
Reviewed 25 April 2017

There are a lot of castles in differing states of ruin in Jordan, and this one is by no means the best - except in one regard. The secret passage, which takes you out of the castle to the roadway below, is perhaps a descent...More

1  Thank Possum_Traveller
Reviewed 20 April 2017

shobak castle is one of the many castles ruins of which were found in jordan. although this particular one is not very well preserved. i would therefore recommend skipping this. although if you are going to petra and have the luxury of time, u could...More

Thank sahilagarwal
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
If driving from Petra is it easy to find the turn-off for this? Is it a sealed road near the castle, and if not is is OK for a normal rental car?
20 November 2015|
Answer Show all 8 answers
Response from VivaMexicoLiz | Reviewed this property |
We arranged our visit through the Herz agency at our hotel. They provided a driver, so I didn't pay much attention to the signage but it seemed very clear. The road is quite good and there is plenty of parking. Definitely... More