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“Yet another castle”
Review of Shobak Castle

Shobak Castle
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: 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
Reviewed December 8, 2014

Shobak castle is yet another castle, nothing really special to see or do. The best part was talking with the man in the little café / shop / museum at the "visitor centre" just before the castle. He was very kind and shared his stories with great enthusiasm.
Worth while to have a look, but not a must do in my view

1  Thank Gro C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"secret tunnel"
in 7 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 16 reviews
"kings highway"
in 6 reviews
"bring a flashlight"
in 5 reviews
"an adventure"
in 4 reviews
"local guide"
in 4 reviews
"take your time"
in 4 reviews
"crusader"
in 56 reviews
"ruins"
in 54 reviews
"karak"
in 25 reviews
"siege"
in 8 reviews
"visitors"
in 33 reviews
"site"
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"jordan"
in 50 reviews
"restoration"
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215 - 219 of 579 reviews

Reviewed December 7, 2014

Good place to visit, the ancient Castle of Shobak, a crusaders castle next to Petra and in the way to the Dead Sea.

Thank JujoGarciaOjeda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2014

Very cool castle, which is partially restored. The climb from the Visitor Center is steep. But the castle keeper gave us tea and we pressed on. Great views of the Bedouin goat herders. I especially enjoyed the Arab script on some of the facade.

Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2014

Make an early start to get to Shobak Castle, its a long walk up from the car park to this well preserved site. The views from the castle are incredible, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Thank DorsetNomad49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 3, 2014

I did not go inside this crusader castle but seen from the road it has a wonderful castle in the air quality. Worth the detour if you have not seen other crusader castles. The crusaders really did their homework on finding strategic sites for their castles. It gives a different dimension to Jordan's history and reminds us of the importance of their Christian beginnings. This is a country where Christians and Muslims live and work well together.

Thank AlisonAmahl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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