Name of Monument:
Date of Monument:
Hegira 579–658 / AD 1184–1260
Period / Dynasty:
Salah al-Din (known as Saladin, AH 532–88 / AD 1138–93); Al-Zahir Baybars (AH 658–76 / AD 1260–77).
Ajlun is about 76 km northwest of Amman. Contrary to the other castles in Jordan such as Shawbak and Karak, this castle was entirely built by the Muslim forces in AH 579 / AD 1184 to counter the Crusader castle of Belvoir (Kawkab al-Hawa) to the west, and to secure trade and communications between Syria and Egypt. It was probably intended also to protect the important iron mines in the Ajlun area. The castle with its constant remodelling and enlargement is a good example of the development of military architecture in the AH 6th and 7th AD 12th and 13th centuries.
View Short Description
Ajlun Castle, about 76 km northwest of Amman, was built by Muslim forces in AH 579 / AD 1184 to counter the Crusader castle of Belvoir (Kawkab al-Hawa) to the west, to secure the route between Syria and Egypt, and to protect the important iron mines in the area. The castle with its constant remodelling and enlargement is a good example of the development of military architecture in the 6th–7th / 12th–13th centuries. There are two Arabic inscriptions: one, dated 647–58 / 1250–60, mentions the renovation conducted by order of Salah al-Din (Saladin), while the second mentions a construction in 659 / 1261.
How Monument was dated:
The monument was dated by its inscription and through historical sources. Two Arabic inscriptions were found by the Department of Antiquities of Jordan in 1963, the first of these was dated to the reign of Saladin (647–58 / 1250–60) and mentions the renovation works conducted by order of the Sultan. The second inscription mentions the construction of a wall or tower and gives the date AD 20 July 1261 (AH 659).
Burckhardt, J. L., Travels in Syria and the Holy Land, London, 1882, pp.266–7.
Citation of this web page:
Mohammad Najjar "Ajlun Castle" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=monument;ISL;jo;Mon01;16;en