The castle was built in 1115 by Baldwin I of Jerusalem during his expedition to the area where he captured Aqaba on the Red Sea in 1116. Originally called 'Krak de Montreal' or 'Mons Regalis', it was named in honor of the king's own contribution to its construction (Mont Royal). The castle is located on a round hilltop site that is separated from the rest of the plateau of Edom, which along with the Moab formed the core of Oultrejourdain. Despite appearance, the Edom plain was a relatively fertile location, which made the site, along with its strategic importance, highly desirable. The castle was strategically important due to the fact that it also dominated the main passage from Egypt to Syria. This allowed who ever to hold the castle to tax not only traders, both those who were on pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina. Ώ] One of the major disadvantages of the site was an issue that the Crusaders encountered all over the Middle East, that issue is the lack of a reliable source of water. This problem was solved by the construction of a tunnel down the hill to two spring-fed cisterns. The tunnel allowed for defenders to go and retrieve water without exposing themselves to any attackers. ΐ]
It remained property of the royal family of the Kingdom of Jerusalem until 1142, when it became part of the Lordship of Oultrejordain. At the same time the center of the Lordship was moved to Kerak, a stronger fortress to the north of Montreal. Along with Kerak, the castle owed sixty knights to the kingdom. The first Lord of Oultrejordain was Philip of Nablus. Ώ] It was held by Philip de Milly, and then passed to Raynald of Châtillon when he married Stephanie de Milly. Raynald used the castle to attack the rich caravans that had previously been allowed to pass unharmed. He also built ships there, then transported them overland to the Red Sea, planning to attack Mecca itself. This was intolerable to the Ayyubid sultan Saladin, who invaded the kingdom in 1187. Α] After capturing Jerusalem, later in the year he besieged Montreal. During the siege the defenders are said to have sold their wives and children for food, and to have gone blind from "lack of salt." Because of the hill Saladin was unable to use siege engines, but after almost two years the castle finally fell to his troops in May 1189, after which the defenders' families were returned to them. After its capture, Salah al-Din awarded it to his brother, al- 'Adil who held it until after his brothers death in 1193. Ώ] During negotiations between the crusaders and the Ayyubids in 1218-19, the Ayyubids unwillingness to hand back over the ownership of Montreal and Kerak was a major reason the negotiations broke down. Ώ] In 1261, the Mamluk Sultan Baybars, stormed the castle bringing it under the control of Egypt. Ώ]
Crusader History of Montreal Castle in Shoubak, Jordan
This arched entry leads you inside Mons Regalis. Montreal Castle was built by a Crusader king and controlled by the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1115 until 1142. That year it became part of Oultrejordain, a vassal of the Jerusalem Kingdom rule by a lord. In 1176, the fort was transferred to Raynald of Châtillion when he married the lord’s daughter, Stephanie of Milly. This knight from the Second Crusade used the stronghold to terrorize and rob passing caravans. He was captured in 1187 during the Battle of Hattin and executed by Saladin. This first sultan of Syria and Egypt (1174 – 1193) proceeded to overthrow the rest of the Kingdom of Jerusalem within a few months. Then his troops attacked this garrison for 18 months before capturing it in 1189, the same year the Third Crusade began (1189 – 1192). Saladin’s Muslim forces used this fort as part of their defense against the Christians during that King’s Crusade.
Shobak Castle, Montreal Shobak, Jordan
Welcome! Encircle Photos is your free travel resource for finding top places to see worldwide. This visual library includes travel guides showing major landmarks with descriptions, maps and addresses. Also explore the world daily with free emails and on Facebook. They feature a different city a week with one photo a day. Let travel photographer Dick Ebert show you the world!
If you have some free time after visiting Petra, going to Shaubak castle may be a good idea. The castle is located about 30 km from Petra and is easily reachable by car in 30 minutes. Shaubak Castle is one of the best preserved crusader castle in the Middle East and, as many other crusader fortresses, has a picturesque location on top of the mountain. The external wall is well preserved and even inside there is a lot to see. The ticket is 2JD, free with Jordan Pass.
Although I am not sure whether the castle has any chances to become a WHS, judging from other reviews of Israeli crusader fortresses, it is much more worth visiting. On the other hand, it is a pity that the best example of fortresses from that period – Nimrod Castle in Golan Heights, due to political situation is not even on T-list.
The 12 th century Château de Montréal is a château in the Dordogne department located near the commune of Issac, in southwestern France. It overlooks the valley of the Crempse River.
It was built as a castle in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 16th century. It has been classified as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1948. It is now a private residence.
The Pontbriand family built the château in its current form. They also built the chapel Sainte-Épine. They modernized the double walls of the ramparts, which are very well preserved, and added the Renaissance-style façade of the residence.
In summertime, the house is open for visits of the salons, which have a collection of portraits, and the circular library in the tower.
The gardens were built on the ramparts of the fortress at the beginning of the 20th century by Achille Duchêne. The lower garden is in the Italian style, and features hibiscus and yew trees, and walls covered with white roses and white clematis. The upper garden is a garden à la française, with ornamental flower beds and a topiary garden. The garden was badly damaged by a storm in 1999, and has been replanted. The gardens are classified by the Committee of Parks and Gardens of the Ministry of Culture as one of the Notable Gardens of France.
Amazing piece of history
Tragically under restored, but fascinating to climb over. You can explore like you would not be able to explore a properly preserved site - a good and bad thing. Entry is free, although guides are not (we did not take one - but with no guides or signage you pretty much guess as to where you are). One cool thing is the secret and very spooky tunnel that leads deep into the hill and down to a spring and a secret exit. You will need a flash light, and courage if you plan to venture in alone (I had neither).
We called en route to Petra and really enjoyed our visit to Shobak. We left our car at the visitors centre, taking in the atmosphere on the 10 minute walk to the castle entrance and finding that we had the place completely to ourselves for most of our visit. Personally, I enjoyed the visit far more than the much better preserved Karak castle and it was certainly a lot easier to find!
The visitor centre also has a place to buy tea and coffee from the very friendly café owner
Too bad that there was a garbage everywhere but the atmosphere was great. Entrance was for free and it took us about one and half hour to walk through the ruins. There is also a tunnel heading outside the castle so take some light with you if you wanna some adventure but ne ready for bats.
This is not a major destination for most travelers, and not one originally on my itinerary. Our driver suggested we make the stop at this fortress, on our way to Petra from the Dead Sea. It's about a half hours drive north of Petra.
Sitting alone on a windblown hilltop, this impressive castle with high walls has impressive views across the somewhat bleak landscape. I loved that it was so quiet here, just one other couple, clambering over the ruins. There is quite a bit to read on this castle, it has a long & interesting history, sometimes spelled Shawbak. There is a visitor center at the bottom of the hill. Try to make time for this fascinating place which dates back to the 12th century.
Osaka Castle and the Museum of History – Must See Sights in Osaka
Our research had showed us that there were lots of interesting things to do in Osaka – and our first task was to decided what to do on what days. As seniors – shopping wasn’t on the list, and we were pretty Shrine’d, Garden’d and Temple’s out after Kyoto. It’s a good think that Osaka is best known for it’s museums, eh? (After the bars and nightlife – but that’s for other travellers – we are museum buffs!)
The list of must see museums here was long and intriguing, but two major Art Museums were closed during our entire visit. Something about having to put in new exhibits. But that left lots of other choices – and we made a list, considered closing days to avoid, and limiting ourselves to just 2 a day. At our speed, more stops would never happen.
Bottom line – Sunday our plan was to hit the two biggest hits in Osaka – the not to be ignored Osaka Castle, and the outstanding Osaka Museum of History nearby. Then Monday, when most museums are closed, we decided to go for the Largest Aquarium in Japan, Tuesday would be the Science Museum and the Museum of Housing, and then on Wednesday we’d do the serious stuff – the Osaka Museum of Human Rights, and the Osaka International Peace Memorial.
Nice solid planning – always an excellent way to start.
After spending some time deciphering the subway map, and deciding if the 600 Yen all day pass was a good investment (it wasn’t) – we headed out for the Osaka Museum of History.
This museum is huge, excellent, informative, has an English Language Guide, and was completely enchanting. I’d rate it an absolute must see.
For kids there were stamp desks positioned around the museum, the idea being to keep the kids interested by keeping them searching for specific items and being rewarded with the appropriate stamp. And this so worked! We were entranced to see how keen even the youngest were to get their books properly stamped.
The first floor of the museum is actually the 10th floor of this huge modern building. It is devoted to a full sized recreation of the oldest Ceremonial Hall in Japan – dating from around 800 AD. The space is very dark, filled with mannequins dressed in traditional robes, and with a movie projected on the dark screens. Then the movie ends, and the windows are automatically opened to reveal the view of Osaka. And right below us is the actual location of the Ceremonial Hall – identified only in 1959 and saved by community action from development. So stunning.
The route spirals downward from floor to floor – past full sized street views of Osaka, animated by a Noh character that moves from screen to screen, explaining as he goes what you should be looking for. Many of the images are 3D cut-outs of scenes from Art of the time period portrayed, other images were intensely accurate scale miniatures with amazing detail. Cats and Kids chasing rats (apparently this was reported in visitor notes from the time), housewives putting out wash on roof terraces designed for the purpose, Imperial messengers on important business, shopkeepers selling their wares – the stunning detail is definitely a characteristic of Japanese model building, and it was bewitching.
The bottom floor of the museum is a full scale replica of Osaka shortly before WWII, and was offering a free ‘wear a Kimono’ event that day. So we dressed up – and gleefully took pictures of ourselves looking lovely.
Once out of the History Museum, we headed over to the Osaka Castle – and were immediately plunged into mob central. Where the Museum of History had a pleasant vibe, the Osaka Castle is a must see on everyone’s agenda – and it was crowded. We had to wait our turn to see each section of the exhibits, and this was a problem because it entailed a great deal of standing and waiting.
Old knees aren’t fond of standing and waiting.
But the exhibits themselves were utterly fascinating. They tell, in intense detail, the history of the original builder of Osaka Castle – and the 2nd great unifier of Japan – Toyotomi Hideyoshi of the Osaka Castle, and of his fights with the man most consider the primary Shogun of Japan – Tokugawa Ieyasu. One entire floor is devoted to a detailed analysis of the famous Screen Painting – The Summer Battle of Osaka Castle. If you are interested in the Edo Era, or find information about the Shogunate period from 1600 to 1868, this is the place.
We are not incredibly interested in this period, but the intensity of the displays made it impossible to ignore them. I’d rate Osaka Castle a Must See.
We dragged ourselves out of the castle, overwhelmed and completely exhausted – and a long subway ride from home. To make matters worse – while the streets were deserted, the subway was packed! Rush hour in Osaka – oh that’s perfect timing.
But we managed to not get lost, and still stay friends. Dinner, a quick chat with our fellow travellers, and bed. Tomorrow is bound to be another long long day.
Signing off to dream of Samurai Soldiers – The Soup Lady and the Intrepid Traveler.
Kerak Castle, built in the 12th century, is one of the largest Crusader castles in the Levant region. According to Biblical tradition, Kerak was designed by the king of Israel.
In the early 1170s, the Crusader kingdom was ruled by Reynald of Châtillon, a notorious leader who took joy in savage acts such as throwing prisoners off the castle wall onto the rocks below. When the Ayyubid Sultan Saladin launched his attack on the Crusader kingdom and executed the tyrant himself, Kerak eventually fell under Saladin’s rule. The castle holds the honor of being the first site to use contemporary artillery in the Middle East.
On December 18, 2016, the castle was attacked by ISIS, who killed more than 10 people and injured more than 34.
Rich in view and history
In a sunny hot summery day you should not miss this one while back from Petra.
It adds to the value of your journey.
Three hours drive from Amman, four hours in Petra, this place deserves one hour journey ,fresh air breeze on the top of Jordan's high mountain.
Don't forget to rediscovere the water well that goes 370 steps down the mountain
Great views from a castle build in the early 1.100.
You can see the valley that surrounds the Aqba city.
This stunning ruin was a real treat-- our driver brought us here on our way to Petra, and we all enjoyed exploring this castle that was originally built by the Crusaders. I wish we had known more about it when we were there who built it and when, how it was used in the broader political and economic conflicts of the region. The great Saladin took this fortress a couple of years after he captured Jerusalem in 1187 it was later captured and rebuilt by "Persians." The views from its walls are terrific. Very walkable, though some of the steps are challenging. After we visited a very crowded Petra we all commented that we relished the solitude of the this castle. Though no one was at the entrance when we arrived, by the time we left vendors selling traditional textiles and other items had set up for our shopping convenience. Note: nothing handmade is for sale at Petra, so if you see something you like, buy it!
Nice ruins. Try to check it out if you have some extra time. The place was getting renovated when we were there.
Structure [ edit ]
Little remains of the original Crusader fortifications. Although it has never been fully excavated, it is known that there was a set of three walls, which partially remain. The most significant remains of the Crusader portions of the Crusader castle is the remains of a curtain wall that ran inside the later Muslim additions and two chapels. Α] The towers and walls are decorated with carved inscriptions dating from 14th century Mameluke renovations, but the inside is ruinous. The pilgrim Thietmar, who saw the castle in 1217 after the Muslim conquest, referred to it as "a most excellent fortress, surrounded by triple walls and as strong as any I have ever seen". Α] The external walls and towers are attributed to the patronage of the Mamluk sultan Lajin. Γ]