Location Welcome to Al Karak ( AKA: karak, Kerak ),Peace and Hello --(Asalam Alekum wa Marahaba): This site was started as a personal effort to preserve a place for the City of Karak on the web. People of Al-Karak, and Jordan are famous for their hospitality and making visitors feel at home. Please take time to explore the site and the links within it. We value very much your comments and opinion and welcome any suggested related and personal links to enhance this site. Whether you approach Karak from the ancient
ancient Crusader stronghold, Karak sits 900m above sea level and lies inside the walls of the old city. Karak lies to the
Karak has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age, and was an important city for the Moabites (who called it Qir of Moab)
and the Nabateans. In the Bible it is called Qer Harreseth, and the Romans conquered it from the Nabateans in 105. During
the late Hellenistic Period, Al Karak became an important town as was known as Kharkha. Under the Byzantine Empire it was
a bishopric—containing the much venerated
The town is built on a triangular plateau, with the castle at its narrow southern tip. The castle is some 220m long, 125m wide at the north end, and 40m wide at the southern end where a narrow valley deepened by a ditch separates it from the adjoining and much higher hill – once Saladin's favourite artillery position. Throughout the castle, dark and roughly shaped Crusader masonry is easy to discern from the finely crafted blocks of lighter and softer limestone used in later Arab work.
the castle we see today essentially dates back to the 12th century, Karak has been a fortress since biblical times. The Bible
relates how the King of Israel and his allies from
later, it took the Crusaders some twenty years to erect their vast castle. Once finished in 1161, it became the residence
of the lord of Transjordan, by then the most important fief of the Crusader kingdom, rich in produce and tax revenues. After
withstanding several sieges in the early 1170s, Karak came under the rule of Reynald of Chatillon, a lord who became known
for his recklessness and barbarism. Breaking all treaties, he began looting merchant caravans and Mecca-bound pilgrims, attacked
the very homeland of Islam – the Hijaz – and raided Arabian ports on the Red Sea, even threatening
Reynald’s peacetime robbery of a large caravan in 1177 prompted fast retribution from Saladin, who attacked the Crusader kingdom – ending in the defeat of the Crusader army at the Battle of Hattin. Saladin spared most of the captives except Reynald, who he executed himself. The defenders of Karak held out for eight months in a prolonged siege before surrendering to the Muslims who, mercifully, allowed them to walk free.
again in Muslim hands, Karak became the capital of a district covering much of
Under the Ayyubids and early Mameluk sultans, the castle was substantially renovated and the town’s fortifications strengthened with massive towers but seemingly no gates – access to the town was through subterranean passages with entrances still visible today.
In later times, the town more often than not became a refuge for rebels, while the castle was used as the gathering place of tribal councils. Firm Turkish administration was enforced after 1894 and the Mameluk palace inside the castle was used as a prison. The Great Arab Revolt dealt the last blow to Turkish rule, which ended in 1918.
of the Crusader castle began in the 1140s, under Paganus, the butler of King Fulk. The Crusaders called it Crac des Moabites.
Paganus was also Lord of Oultrejordain (Transjordan), and Kerak became the centre of his power, replacing the weaker
1176 Raynald of Chatillon gained possession of Kerak after marrying Stephanie of Milly, the widow of Humphrey III of Toron
(and daughter-in-law of Humphrey II). From Kerak, Raynald harassed the trade caravans and even attempted an attack on
the Battle of Hattin in 1187, Saladin besieged Kerak again and finally captured it in 1189. During the siege the defenders
were said to have been forced to sell women and children into slavery for food (this is also said to have happened at the
AD 1263, the Mamluk ruler, Baybars, enlarged and built a tower on the north-west corner. In AD 1840, Ibrahim Pasha of
The castle extends over the southern part of the plateau. It is a notable example of Crusader architecture, a mixture of European, Byzantine, and Arab designs. Its walls are strenghthened with rectangular projecting towers, long stone vaulted galleries are lighted only by narrow slits, and a contains a deep moat from the west which completely isolates the site.
the lower court of the castle, there is
Karak is widely accepted as the capital of
November 9, 2005, Karak became a sister city of
Jordan Tourisom Board, www.visitjordan.com
Karak, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Karak
Politics & Change in
Hugh (2000). Crusader Castles.
NEW LINK: LIVE KARAK RADIO FORM MUTA UNIVERISTY
KARAK RELATED LINKS:
Al Karak google map
Family Names and Tribes
Village Names and Residence
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