Al Shobak Castle

A reminder of former Crusader glory

The castle of Shobak, the "royal mountain" Montreal or Mons Regalis as it used to be called, was the first Crusader fortress in a line of strongholds in Oultrejourdain, the territory East of the river Jordan. Baldwin I King of Jerusalem ordered its construction in 1115 to control the caravan routes between Syria and Egypt. Perched on a conical hilltop, it had a well shaft inside that could be accessed via 375 steps down to the water vein, an unparalleled advantage during a siege. In fact, Montreal managed to hold out longer (until May 1189) against Saladin's attacks than the Crusader's main castle Kerak.

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