Long before the Crusaders came Kerak was an important city in the Biblical kingdom of Moab. It is mentioned in the Bible as Kir or Kir Moab. It was later home to the Nabateans, the Romans and the Byzantines. Kerak castle was built in 1142 by the Crusader king Baldwin I of Jerusalem. At the time it was part a series of fortresses stretching between Jerusalem and Aqaba. The Crusaders built strategically; each fort was a day's journey apart and each one lit a beacon at night to inform Jerusalem that it was safe. Kerak Castle resisted attacks by Saladin's troops in 1183 and 1184, but finally fell after a siege in 1189. The Mamluks took the fort in 1263 and made several additions to the structure.
Kerak Castle is a typical example of Crusader architecture with its vaulted rooms and corridors. The Crusader parts of the ruins are mostly on the upper level but below ground are a maze of interesting tunnels and rooms to explore.
Entrance 2JD (2020)