Ajloun Castle is a 12th century Muslim castle located in Northwestern Jordan. It was built high above the historic town of Ajloun, by Saladin, a Sunni Muslim Kurd. Today the ruins of Ajloun Castle provide visitors with spectacular views of the Jordan Valley.
History of Ajloun Castle
Ajloun Castle was built in the 12th century by the Ezz Al Din Usama, a General in the Salah Al Din Al ayouby (Saladin). It was enlarged by the Mamluks in the 13th century. The castle’s strategic position controlled traffic along the road connecting Damascus and Egypt.
Ajloun Castle was one of the very few Muslim fortresses built by the Ayyubids, to protect their Realm against Crusader incursions, which could come from Beisan or Belvoir in the west and from Karak Castle in the south.
The original castle had four corner towers connected by curtain walls and a double gate. Arrow slits were incorporated in the thick walls and it was surrounded by a moat averaging 16 meters (about 52 feet) in width and 12–15 meters (about 40–50 feet) in depth.
The castle lost its military importance after the fall of Karak in AD 1187 to the Ayyubids. In the middle of the 13th century AD, the castle was conceded to Yousef ibn Ayoub Aleppo Prince and Damascus, who restored the northeastern tower and used the castle as an administrative center.
Ajloun Castle was home to various battles and was destroyed and rebuilt depending who was in control of the area. Earthquakes in the region also caused a lot of destruction, but recent archaeological works by the Ministry of Antiquities in Jordan are restoring the castle.
How to Get to Ajloun Castle
Ajloun Castle towers above the historic town of Ajloun and is only 20 minutes from the Ajloun Forest Reserve, a beautifully conserved nature reserve with an array of wildlife. It is approximately 50 kilometers from Amman. It takes about 90 minutes by car to drive to Ajloun Castle.
Ajloun Castle is about 40 minutes from Jerash and a perfect addition to a Northern Jordan day trip from Amman.
Tours to Ajloun Castle
There are a few Amman day tours that visit Ajloun Castle. This Tour from Viator and this Tour from Get Your Guide do not include a guide but has a driver that will pick you up from your hotel, then stops in Jerash, Ajloun and a visit Ajloun Castle, and Umm Qais. It is the perfect option for those who do not want to drive.
Entrance Fees to Ajloun Castle
Entrance to Ajloun Castle costs 3 JOD.
FREE with the Jordan Pass.