قلعة الكرك

( Kerak Castle )

Kerak Castle (Arabic: قلعة الكرك, romanized: Qal'at al-Karak) is a large medieval castle located in al-Karak, Jordan. It is one of the largest castles in the Levant. Construction began in the 1140s, under Pagan and Fulk, King of Jerusalem. The Crusaders called it Crac des Moabites or "Karak in Moab", as it is referred to in history books. It was also colloquially referred to as Krak of the Desert.

Crusader period

Pagan the Butler was also Lord of Oultrejordain and Kerak Castle became the centre of his power, replacing the weaker castle of Montreal to the south. Because of its position east of the Dead Sea, Kerak Castle was able to control bedouin herders as well as the trade routes from Damascus to Egypt and Mecca. His successors, his nephew Maurice and Philip of Milly, added towers and protected the north and south sides with two deep rock-cut ditches (the southern ditch also serving as a cistern). The most notable Crusader architectural feature surviving is the north wall, into which are built immense arched halls on two levels. These were used for living quarters and stables, but also served as a fighting gallery overlooking the castle approach and for shelter against missiles from siege engines.

In 1176 Raynald of Châtillon gained possession of Kerak Castle after marrying Stephanie of Milly, the widow of Humphrey III of Toron (and daughter-in-law of Humphrey II of Toron). From Kerak Castle, Raynald harassed the trade camel trains and even attempted an attack on Mecca itself. In 1183 Saladin besieged the castle in response to Raynald's attacks. The siege took place during the marriage of Humphrey IV of Toron and Isabella I of Jerusalem, and Saladin, after some negotiations and with a chivalrous intent, agreed not to target their chamber while his siege machines attacked the rest of the castle. The siege was eventually relieved by Baldwin IV of Jerusalem.

Saladin besieged Kerak again in 1184. Saladin attempted to fill the ditches that prevented siege engines from getting in range of the castle wall. However, just like the first siege of Kerak, Saladin and his men left before a reinforcing crusader army could come to the castle's aid. This siege only lasted four weeks.[1]

The last siege of the 12th century was led by Sa’d Al-Din, Saladin's nephew, in 1188. Unlike the sieges before it, the Muslim army was not under the threat of crusader reinforcements. The year before Saladin had defeated an outnumbered crusader army at the Battle of Hattin and therefore the crusaders could not gather enough troops to reinforce Kerak. The Muslim army cut off supplies to the castle, and Kerak surrendered several months after. When the castle had fallen, it is believed that it was due to lack of arms, not a lack of food. With the fall of Kerak, the Castle of Montreal, which had been replaced as the centre of the lordship by Kerak, surrendered soon afterward.[1]

Ayyubid period

Under the Ayyubid Dynasty, Kerak served as the administration centre for all of the regions of Jordan. When Saladin's brother, al-'Adil was awarded control of the castle, he made it the site of one of his treasuries. Kerak would continue to serve as the home of a royal treasury for the remainder of the Ayyubid Dynasty. During some internal conflict by members of the Ayyubid Dynasty in the 1230s and 40s, Kerak was one of the three princedoms that was able to remain independent. The castle was retaken by the Egyptian Sultan al- Salih Ayyub in 1249.[2] Kerak was so important to the Ayyubids that it is recorded that only the governors of Kerak and Damascus were allowed to carry their official correspondences on red paper.

Under An-Nasir Dawud, much of the defenses of Kerak were expanded and improved in 1244-45.[2] In 1227, the Sultan of Damascus al-Mu'azzam 'Isa, commissioned the construction of a tunnel that ran from the castle into the town.[dubious ][citation needed]

Mamluk period

By 1263, Kerak was under the rule of the Mamluk Sultan Baybars.[2] In 1263, the Mamluk sultan Baibars enlarged and built a tower on the northwest corner. Under the Mamluks, Kerak continued to remain an important administrative centre. Ibn 'Abd al-Zahir stated that the castle held four ministries: the ministry of the army, the ministry of finance, the ministry of Kerak and the chancery. Due to the castle's importance, it also maintained a significant military force, which under the rule of al-Mughith, contained at least 700 horsemen.[2]

Ottoman period  A night view of the castle

During the Ottoman Empire, it played an important role due to its strategic location on the crossroads between the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and Greater Syria.

In 1834, the leaders of the peasants' revolt in Palestine took refuge in Kerak. Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt besieged the castle, and destroyed much of its fortifications in the process.[3]

In 1893, the Ottoman authorities reestablished control over the area by appointing a mutasarrıf (governor) resident in Kerak Castle with a garrison of 1400, including 200 cavalry. Parts of the castle were reused. Some of the destruction that had occurred to the structure was due to locals removing stones containing potassium nitrate ("saltpetre"), which is used to make gunpowder.[4] Medieval historian Paul Deschamps studied Crusader castles in the 1920s. Amongst the important research done by Deschamps, in 1929 he and architect Francois Anus created the first accurate plans of Kerak Castle.[5]

Jordan

On December 18, 2016, the castle was the site of a terrorist attack. Fourteen people were killed and 34 were injured, the majority being Jordanian security forces and local civilians. A Canadian tourist was also killed.[6]

^ a b Lyons, M. C., and D. E. P. Jackson. Saladin: The Politics of the Holy War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. ^ a b c d Milwright, Marcus (April 2006). "Central and Southern Jordan in the Ayyubid Period: Historical and Archaeological Perspectives*". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 16 (1): 1–27. doi:10.1017/S1356186305005626. ISSN 2051-2066. ^ Rogan, E.L. (2002). Frontiers of the State in the Late Ottoman Empire: Transjordan, 1850-1921. Cambridge University Press. pp. 31–32. ISBN 9780521892230. ^ Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Report, (1896). ^ Kennedy (1994), pp. 5–6 ^ Husseini, Rana (December 18, 2016). "Death toll in Karak attacks rises to 14, including four terrorists". Jordan Times. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
Photographies by:
Zones
Statistics: Position
4937
Statistics: Rank
20420

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
Security
138526749Click/tap this sequence: 2244
Esta pregunta es para comprobar si usted es un visitante humano y prevenir envíos de spam automatizado.

Google street view

Where can you sleep near Kerak Castle ?

Booking.com
567.718 visits in total, 9.238 Points of interest, 405 Destinations, 1.605 visits today.