Shobak and its castle: where it is and what to see during the visit

Shobak and its castle (also sometimes written as Shawbak) represent an interesting stop on many trips to Jordan, as it is on its way from Amman and the north of the Highlands to the south (
Wadi Rum
, etc.). Therefore, our agency usually includes it in more complete circuits, and on this page we tell you what to see in the
Shobak castle and how it can be integrated into the route.

Table of Contents

Where is Shobak Castle

Shobak is a small town in south-central Jordan, belonging to the Ma’an Governorate. Its region is semi-arid, with spectacular light stone canyons but with hits of green in some corners, where water gushes almost miraculously.

There are no large cities around it, but it benefits from being relatively close to Petra (30 km), located on the same road. Therefore, it is often the last stop before reaching that destination from the north, or an excursion from Wadi Musa.

Map of Shobak

A bit of history

Visit Shobak Castle it is like traveling to an interesting episode in the history of Jordan: that of the struggles between Crusaders and Muslims, in the twelfth century. But this area was already populated long before that. Specifically, around 4,000 BC, since some archaeological sites in the area demonstrate the existence of metal foundries of that period, largely thanks to the copper mines in the area, which gave fame to this region.

Shobak Castle was built at the beginning of that century by Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem and leader of the Christian Crusaders, within a network of fortifications that also included that of Karak, further north.

The original name they gave it was Mont Real (Mount Royal), with a strategic location on this important communication and trade route between Syria and Arabia, on which it rises, offering good control of the surroundings.

At the end of the twelfth century it was conquered by the troops of the Ayyubid Saladin, after besieging the fortress for a year and a half. Some time later, the Mamluks took over, who consolidated and expanded the Shobak Castle.

At present, its state of conservation is not as good as that of others in the country (for example,
), but it maintains much of its attractiveness. And with the help of an expert, it will be easy to understand the different spaces of the enclosure and their strategic importance.

What to see in Shobak: the castle

Since it is a very small town, what you really have to see in Shobak It is its castle, located about 3 km by road. Once inside the enclosure, the most significant places are:

  • Churches, largely rebuilt, although in ruins. Under one of them there are catacombs, tombstones and what is interpreted as a small throne, which popular tradition attributes to Saladin.
  • Keep and prison, which was the most protected area of Shobak Castle
  • Mamluk period watchtower
  • Secret passageway behind a long stone staircase
Things to do in Shobak

Things to do in Shobak

The visit to Shobak Castle It is not particularly long, so if you have time to do other activities, there are other proposals not far from the area. Lovers of hiking and nature can approach the Dana Biosphere Reserve, where there are routes of different difficulties, from simple to those aimed at experts. Among the toughest is the Wadi Dana Trail, to Feynan, a small village that has its own Heritage Museum.

Both Feynan and Dana have a very genuine rural atmosphere, and during nature routes trees such as date palms or desert acacias, as well as migratory birds, will come to pass. It is also the habitat of mammals such as desert cats, red foxes, caracals or even ibex.

Dana also passes through one of the sections of the Jordan Trail, which connects this nature reserve with Petra. They are about 70 km spread over four days of crossing, with one of the best possible attractions: to reach the ancient Nabataean city, one of the most fascinating goals in the country.

How to get to Shobak

The only way to get to Shobak and its castle It is by car or private bus, with a previously contracted service, since the area lacks a public transport network. These are the distances that separate this town from other points of interest in Jordan, with the respective durations of each journey:

  • Wadi Musa (Petra): 30 km, 30 minutes
  • Karak: 150 km, 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Wadi Rum: 160 km, 2 hours
  • Aqaba: 175 km, 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Madaba: 190 km, 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Dead Sea: 175 km, 2 hours and 45 minutes
  • Amman: 200 km, 2 and a half hours
  • Jerash: 250 km, 3 hours

Plan your trip to Shobak

Disfruta de Shobak
Enjoy experiences
Cambia tu moneda unicamente Espana Shobak
Change your currency (Spain only)
Vuelos muy baratos Shobak
Very cheap flights
Alquila tu coche Shobak
Rent your car
Contrata Wifi o telefono Shobak
Hire Wifi or phone
Quieres una tarjeta Shobak
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