For tourists visiting Aqaba, especially history buffs, the Shobak Castle is a great destination to explore the history of Jordan. Just off the King’s Highway and about 175 kilometers from Aqaba , perched like a ship on the crest of a hill stands the majestic Shobak Castle the first Crusader castle built in Jordan.
The castle is a reminder of Crusader King Baldwin I’s glory, who built it in 1115. Later Shobak and Kerak to the north came under the control of Raynald of Châtillon who began pillaging the caravans that passed nearby. This provoked the ire of Sallahuddin Al-Ayooubi, who descended upon the Crusader kingdom, taking Jerusalem and then later sieging Shobak and Kerak in 1189. And later was captured by the Mamluk, who left calligraphic inscriptions on the walls and towers during the last renovation of the Shobak Castle in the 1290s.
Shobak castle’s walls and towers are Mamluke, and all the towers which stand have beautifully carved external calligraphic inscriptions dating from rebuilding work in the 1290s. As you enter, down and to the left is a small chapel, at the back of which are pools and channels of unknown usage. Below the chapel runs a long, dank and pitch-dark secret passage, which brings you out in the middle of the castle if you head right, and outside the walls if you head left.
Located 5 minutes away from Shobak castle you are welcomed to stay at the Montreal Hotel. The hotel rooms offers a serene view of the Shobak castle inviting you to an experience through the eyes of Montreal Hotel. For more information on Montreal Hotel and reservations please visit www.montrealhotel.jo