Ajlun & its castle (Qala’at ar-Rabadh)
Ajlun is a hilly town in the north of Jordan, 73 km from the capital Amman. Known for its castle and paradise-like nature, Ajlun is one of the main natural and historical attractions in Jordan.
The town’s name is derived from the Moabite king Eglon who was mentioned in the Bible. Ajlun has Mediterranean weather, lush vegetation, mountains, and thick green forests, which makes it a great place for hiking through thick, healthy woodlands filled with oak, pistachio, and oriental strawberry trees. Halfway through your hike, you can observe wine and olive presses from the Byzantine and Roman eras.
Aside from hiking, your visit to Ajlun can enrich your historical knowledge.
Atop of mount Auf, in the hills north-west of Jerash, overlooking the town of Ajlun, stands a handsome fort; Qala’at ar-Rabadh, which affords fine views over the Jordan Valley. A 13th-century Arab writer told of ‘an ancient monastery’ here, and William of Tyre mentioned a ‘small fortress’, captured by the Crusaders in 1139. Some incised crosses, and a recently discovered chapel with a mosaic floor (probably 8th-century), give credence to the tradition of a Christian Arab origin.