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Kerak Castle General Information

Kerak Castle General Information
Kerak Castle is a large crusader castle located in Kerak in Jordan. Construction of the castle began in the 1140s. It is one of the largest crusader castles in the Levant and it is nevertheless an impressive insight into the architectural military genius of the Crusaders.
In 1176 Raynald of Châtillon gained possession of Karak after he married Stephanie of Milly, the widow of Humphrey III of Toron (and daughter-in-law of Humphrey II). From Kerak, Raynald of Châtillon harassed the trade caravans and he tried to attack on Mecca itself. In 1183 Saladin besieged the castle in response to Raynald's attacks. 
After the Battle of Hattin in 1187, Saladin besieged Karak again and finally captured it in 1189. 
In 1263, the Mamluk ruler Baybars enlarged and built a new tower on the north-west corner. 
In 1840, Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt captured the castle and destroyed much of its fortifications. In 1844 his troops, who did not have control over the surrounding countryside, came under siege. They were eventually starved out and many were killed.
During the Ottoman period, karak castle played an important role due to its strategic location on the crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Greater Syria.
In 1893 the Ottoman authorities re-established control over the area by appointing a Governor (Mutasarif) resident in Kerak with a garrison of 1,400, 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 salt petre which was used for making gunpowder.
now a days Karak Castle considered as one of the most famous attractions in Jordan. it has a dark maze of stone-vaulted halls and endless passageways. The best preserved are underground and can be reached via a massive door. thousands of visitors visit it every year. it's More imposing than beautiful.

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