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Qasr Azraq, Azraq

3.6
#24 of 36 in Historic Sites in Jordan
Castle Ruin
Qasr al-Azraq is a large fortress located in present-day eastern Jordan. It is one of the desert castles, located on the outskirts of present-day Azraq, roughly 100km east of Amman.Its strategic value came from the nearby oasis, the only water source in a vast desert region. The name of the fortress and associated town came from these. The settlement was known in antiquity as Basie and the Romans were the first to make military use of the site, and later an early mosque was built in the middle. It did not assume its present form until an extensive renovation and expansion by the Ayyubids in the 13th century, using locally quarried basalt which makes the castle darker than most other buildings in the area.Later, it would be used by the Ottoman armies during that empire's hegemony over the region. During the Arab Revolt, T.E. Lawrence based his operations here in 1917–18, an experience he wrote about in his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The connection to "Lawrence of Arabia" has been one of the castle's major draws for tourists.ArchitectureThe castle is constructed of the local black basalt and is a square structure with 80 metre long walls encircling a large central courtyard. In the middle of the courtyard is a small mosque that may date from Umayyad times. At each corner of the outer wall, there is an oblong tower. The main entrance is composed of a single massive hinged slab of granite, which leads to a vestibule where one can see carved into the pavement the remains of a Roman board game.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
98 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • This place dates from Roman times due to its proximity (in the past) to fresh water. More recently Laurence of Arabia and the Arab freedom fighters planned some of their strategies here. It was rebuil...  more »
  • This is the castle in beautiful basalt, a must visit because there are wonderful remnants, from bows to the whole structure, not to mention the stone doors artwork ...
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  • Large black fortress built in the 13th century, Turks were stationed here in the 16th century and Lawrence of Arabia made this place his HQ during 1917. 80 m long wall encircling a courtyard, there is...  more »
Google
  • I didn't find this as interesting as some of the other castles I visited in Jordan. It's largely open and enjoy in the middle with some tumbledown walls around the outside. The black basalt walls set it or as being different and the connection with Lawrence of Arabia is interesting but that was about it for me. Guides are available.
  • An amazing place that you have/must visit!
  • Nice place but Need to be more attractive
  • I love this black castle
  • A place that is must to visit with the the other castles close to it

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