Ajloun

Travelling north of Jordan, Ajloun and its Castle definitely worth a visit. Ajlun, is the capital town of the Ajloun Governorate, a hilly town in the north of Jordan, located 76 kilometers (around 47 miles) north west of Amman. It is noted for its impressive ruins of the 12th-century Ajloun Castle. This place winds through fertile green hills lined with olive groves.

 

Ajlun Castle is located on the site of an old monastery. It was renovated as a fort in 1184 by Izz al-Din Usama, a general in the army of Saladin. The castle controlled traffic along the road connecting Damascus and Egypt. The fortress marks the furthest limit of Frankish incursions during the Crusades.

 

Some of the stones with which the castle was built have crosses carved into them, giving credence to a tradition, recounted by a 13th century Arab historian that: "an ancient monastery once stood on the site, inhabited by a Christian named Ajloun; when the monastery fell into ruin, the castle took its place and the name of the monk".

 

Located in the center of Ajloun is the Great Ajlun Mosque. This mosque is one of the oldest extant in Jordan and dates back around 800 years. This edifice was previously a Byzantine Christian church; there have been reports of Greek writing in the oldest sections. The prayer tower is called "the filter" by some locals (referring to a cigarette filter, because half of the tower was built over a square tower, most likely a Church bell tower).

 

This place will captivate you for sure.