Information about Shawbak

Location: Jordan

Shawbak is an archaeological site located about 25 km north of Petra .
The archaeological and monumental of the castrum of Mons Regalis / Shawbak - one of the best preserved medieval settlements of the entire Middle East - is strategically located in the main road system linking the Dead Sea and Damascus to the Red Sea to Cairo and the Arabian Peninsula.

The fortress , built on top of a hemispherical limestone, represents a rare example of a castle crusader reoccupied by military function in the Ayyubid period, after the defeat at Hattin by Europeans in 1187 .  The town has a complex defensive system and continuing with a plan almost perfectly elliptical, composed of three city walls (at least in the twelfth century ) interspersed with towers and bastions jutting, dating from the Mamluk era crusade Foundation (Arab sources, both written and epigraphic, give news of a rifortificazione site at the end of the thirteenth century ).


The first circle of walls of the castle, built as a personal initiative of King Baldwin I of Jerusalem in 1115 , defended the centers since the beginning of the secular and religious "Transjordan new crusade, as well as protecting neighborhoods along too" civilized "settlements the resident population.

The late medieval Arab sources also refer to a second (and larger) fortified settlement located on the eastern slope of the hill the castle, the gardens (Shawbak was in the middle ages a place full of water surrounded by a green landscape) rivaled those of Damascus and that was not influenced by the analysis of archaeological detail.

The site is currently under Shawbak archaeological survey by an international team led by the Chair of Medieval Archaeology, University of Florence.