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Address: Petra - Wadi Musa 71810, Jordan
Phone Number:
+962 7 7707 2750
Website
Today
09:00 - 18:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 18:00
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Description:

Perched in a wild, remote landscape, Shobak Castle wins over even the most...

Perched in a wild, remote landscape, Shobak Castle wins over even the most castle-weary, despite being less complete than its sister fortification at Karak. Formerly called Mons Realis (the Royal Mountain), it was built by the Crusader king Baldwin I in AD 1115. Restoration work is ongoing and hopefully this will include some explanatory signs. In the meantime, the caretaker shows visitors around for about JD10. Bring a torch for exploring the castle’s many dark corners.

 

Built on a small knoll at the edge of a plateau, Shobak Castle is especially imposing when seen from a distance. It withstood numerous attacks from the armies of Saladin before succumbing in 1189 (a year after Karak), after an 18-month siege. It was later occupied in the 14th century by the Mamluks, who built over many of the Crusader buildings. As you climb up from the entrance, there are some wells on the left. Soon after passing these, you’ll see the reconstructed church, one of two in the castle, down to the left. It has an elegant apse supported by two smaller alcoves. The room leading off to the west was the baptistery; on the north wall there are traces of water channels leading from above.

 

Returning to the main path, turn left. After passing under the arches, a door leads into the extensive market. Turn left and descend 375 steps into an amazing secret passageway that leads to a subterranean spring, finally surfacing via a ladder outside the castle, beside the road to Shobak town. Tread carefully, use a torch and don’t even think about coming down here if you’re claustrophobic. Alternatively, continue past the tunnel for 50m and you’ll pass a large two-storey building with archways, built by the Crusaders but adapted by the Mamluks as a school. At the northern end of the castle is the semicircular keep with four arrow slits. Outside, dark steps lead down to the prison. Head to the northeast corner of the castle to see Quranic inscriptions, possibly dating from the time of Saladin, carved in Kufic script around the outside

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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The secret passage is the attraction

There are a lot of castles in differing states of ruin in Jordan, and this one is by no means the best - except in one regard. The secret passage, which takes you out of the... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Possum_Traveller
,
Melbourne, Australia

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481 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 324: English reviews
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
63 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

There are a lot of castles in differing states of ruin in Jordan, and this one is by no means the best - except in one regard. The secret passage, which takes you out of the castle to the roadway below, is perhaps a descent of 100 metres. But you each need a good light. If you are ok to... More 

Helpful?
Thank Possum_Traveller
Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
144 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

shobak castle is one of the many castles ruins of which were found in jordan. although this particular one is not very well preserved. i would therefore recommend skipping this. although if you are going to petra and have the luxury of time, u could stop over for a bit as it is right on the way. else, i think... More 

Helpful?
Thank sahilagarwal
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Really amazing to see how they made it in the olden days and also can be see the good view of Dead Sea and other wadi from it

Helpful?
Thank Amjad I
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
403 reviews
237 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

it's kind of a steep road to get to the entrance. The views from the top are superb. It's a crusader fortress filled with galleries, rooms, secret passages, and thick defensive walls that are pierced by narrow slits. Payen Le Boutellier, the lord of Montreal built this in 1142 and made Kerak the new capital of the provence because of... More 

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1 Thank Marion W
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
122 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This castle at Shoubak is the remains of the Montreal Castle, a Crusader castle built in 1115 by Baldwin and became property of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1142. Saladin captured the castle in 1189. We visited in the late afternoon on route to Petra, the light was amazing and views spectacular. There were very few tourists and no guides.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Ann O
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
145 reviews
115 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My suggestion, if you have little time while being in Petra, go there. A wonderful castle where being at the top everything is down. Once stop at the visitor center, you have two options, either going by walking or taking the risk and drive up, but be careful the way is almost for one car, so at the turns, use... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank FreeAdventurer
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
36 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I visited Shobak Castle on the way to Petra. It was amazing and the view from the top of the hill is wonderful!

Helpful?
1 Thank Hot48cricket
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
159 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Nice castle with a steep climb. You can walk around, but it is not very easy. In the shop by the entrance is a very nice man who serves a good coffee and is super friendly. Nice view of the whole area.

Helpful?
Thank Xeanette D
czech rep
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Nice castle with roman/crusaiders/mamluk and osman history. Mysrerious ruins between steep valleys. Very helpfull guide. Do not forget to try stairs to the water and then damn me :-) Unbelievable and unforgettable 360 steps (partly missing) through cave to the spring under the castle.

Helpful?
Thank mizerap
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

One of the greatest castles to visit in Jordan, with great panoramic views and many artifacts. Would highly recommend

Helpful?
Thank Nadiya T

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