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THE CRUSADER CASTLE
The Crusader castle at Shobak was known as “Crak de Montreal” or “Mont Realis” -the fortress of the royal mount- built in AD 1115 on a remote hill to keep the route that connected Syria and Egypt under control. It was the first of a string of similar strongholds in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The fortress was captured by Salah el-Din in (AD 1189) after an 18-month siege, and then by the Mamluks who completely restored it during the 14th century AD, as witnessed by the numerous Arabic inscriptions adorning its walls and towers.
A visitor today can see the remains of the enclosing wall, archways, arrow slits, Crusader chapel, and most fascinating of all, the ancient well shaft cut deep into the rock, with 375 steps leading down to the water supply at the bottom. The shaft is one of the deepest ever created by Crusader forces.