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Hamdan bin Zayed visits Ajlun castle

posted on 23/04/2008: 859 views

Amman - H.H Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister paid a visit to the castle of Ajlun in northern Jordan. During his tour, Sheikh Hamdan was briefed on the history of the castle which is also locally known as Qalat er-Rabad and Saladin Castle.

Erected at 1023 meters above sea level, the Ajlun castle was the base of the Arab forces of Saladin, when he defeated the Crusaders in the 12th century. The Ajlun Mountains are famous for their lush vegetation and thick green forests and a good place for hikes. The castle of Ajlun was built in 1184 by Ezzidin Usama Bin Munqiz, a nephew of the famous Muslim leader Saladin (Salah al-Din) to ward off Crusaders and defend the land then held by the Arabs.

Ajlun castle served as a link in a chain of castles which, using heliograph, fire beacons and pigeon post, could transmit messages from Damascus to Cairo within twelve hours. It was severely damaged by earthquakes in the 18th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, and restoration work is proceeding. Alone on its hill, and looking over some magnificent countryside, Ajlun was admirably sited and was never taken by the Crusaders, although the Mongols in the 13th century occupied it for a short time before it was retaken by its original owners. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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