Kerak

  • Site type: Historical – Religious
  • Time to visit: 1 hour

The Crusader castle of Kerak. This 12th Century hill top fortress features galleries, towers, chapels and ramparts that recall the gallantry of the Crusaders themselves.

Spanning across seven levels, some of which are buried deep inside the earth, the castle is a huge testament to the ingenuity of the Crusader architecture and offers an interesting and well-preserved glimpse into the behaviors, traditions and habits of the time.

When the second crusade came to the Holy Land, Reynald of Chatillon took over the castle and ruled with a notorious cruelty and ruthlessness that eventually brought about the downfall of the castle during the Battle of Hattin in 1187.

With the European Crusaders finally defeated, the castle was rebuilt and occupied by the Ayyubids, the Mamlukes and then the Ottomans, remaining a place of rebellion, siege and political activism.

Today the architecture still presents elements of the European, Byzantine and Arabic occupation and the large scale of the building.