Shawbak Castle

Shawbak Castle is one of the ruined crusaders castles that can be found in Jordan. It is only 30 mins from Petra and makes for a lovely trip in the late afternoon to catch the late afternoon sunlight which turns the stone walls a golden hue.


Although it is in more of a ruined state than the other well known crusader castle in Jordan of Karak, I actually prefer Shawbak because of this reason. For me it is more authentic and magical wandering around the ruins imaging what it must have been like when it was built nearly 1000 years ago. I also enjoy visiting Shawbak as most of the time you will have the castle to yourself and the gatekeeper is more than happy to just let you go and wander and explore – no pushy guides or touts.

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The landscape around the castle is spectacular. It is perched high on a hilltop commanding views in all directions – you would certainly have been able to see anyone approaching either friend or foe.

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The strata of the rock on the surrounding hills and the way it swirls and twists is fascinating and makes for a great photo subject. In amongst this rock strata are caves and the ruins of the village that is as old as the castle. The more you look the more remains of houses and other buildings you see.

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The castle was built by the crusader King Baldwin I in 1115 AD and was called Montreal (or Royal Mountain). It is known as Shawbak in Arabic which means window. This castle certainly has a view from a window to die for.

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26 responses to “Shawbak Castle

    • Thank you. Getting away from the crowds is easy in Jordan if you visit the sites that are off the main tourist route. And for me some of the lessor known sites are just as magnificent – if not more!

  1. What an amazing structure. It’s unfathomable that the castle has stood there for almost a thousand years (things were built to last in those days!). Your pictures are beautiful Andrea. They convey the beauty, stillness and history of Jordan so well. Thanks for sharing this with us xx

    • Thanks so much Laura. It is one of my favourite places in all of Jordan – one of the few places were you can seemingly escape! You’ll have to come and see it for yourself one day. πŸ™‚

      • I would love to! Hopefully, fingers crossed my husband and I might travel in the next year or two. Jordan looks like such a beautiful place x

  2. Thank you for a geographical and historical ‘lesson’ I would not have had if not for your writing . . . shall share in the days to come . . .

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