Krak Montreal (Shhobak)

About fifty kilometers southeast of the Dead Sea in Jordan stands an ancient fortress on top of a hill. What Arab historians call Karac el Chobac or al-Shawbak castle is a fortified castle built by the Crusaders in the 12th century.

Due to its strategic position, this fort controlled the trade routes connecting Egypt, the Sea Route and the Arabian Peninsula and was therefore located on the main passage between Egypt and Syria. This privileged position allowed its owner to tax passing traders, but also the many pilgrims going to Mecca and Medina, both on the way there and back. In addition, springs at the foot of the hill allowed the occupants to obtain water supplies without leaving the fort, thanks to the construction of a tunnel.

It was built by Baldwin I, king of Jerusalem in 1115 during his expedition which led to the capture of Aqaba in 1116.

The fort was called Krak de Montreal (krak being the generic name for the crusader fortresses in Syria and Palestine) and "mount royal" to thank the king for his contribution to the construction.

One of its particularly belligerent owners, Renaud de Chatillon, clearly more attracted by material wealth than by the defense of the tomb of Christ, took advantage of the strategic position of the krak to tax and overtax the caravans passing nearby, while under their predecessors, this passage was free. He pushed the insolence to build a fleet in the middle of the desert and send it to the Red Sea in order to attack Mecca. This attitude greatly displeased the Sultan of Egypt Saladin who invaded the kingdom in 1187 and the krak fell into his hands after two long years of siege.

The fort remained in Muslim hands and was occupied throughout the period of the Ottoman Empire.

Ibrahim Pasha, governor of Egypt partially destroyed the Montreal krak in 1840.

about the place, Shobak:

The Krak Montreal (which Arab historians call Shobak) is a fortified castle built in 1115 by the Crusader king of Jerusalem, Baudouin I during his expedition where he captured Aqaba on the Red Sea. The fortified castle was placed in a very strategic way on the road which goes from Egypt to Syria, which made it possible to levy taxes on all travelers, whether merchants or pilgrims. No wonder this location is the envy of other powers in the region.

Saladin understood this well, he who conquered the stronghold in 1189 after two years of siege.

After the conquest of Krak Montreal, it remained in activity for almost 600 years, until the day when it was largely destroyed by Ibrahim Pasha in 1840.


Spoken comments in the film: 

Shobak is a fortified castle built by the king of the Crusaders Baudouin I, king of Jerusalem at the beginning of the 12th century. The name of this stronghold was the Montreal Krak but Arab historians call it Shobak. If the Crusaders went to the holy land under the pretext of delivering the tomb of Christ, their ultimate goal was much less noble. As always, everything revolves around power and conquest and there was no lack of exactions during these holy wars.

The chateau-fort was taken by Saladin after nearly two years of siege in 1189.

The fort was occupied during the 600 years following the reign of Saladin and largely destroyed by Ibrahim Pasha in 1840.

But there is another curiosity about the Shobak Bitters ... the smallest hotel in the world. But that's mostly for folklore, since it's an old converted Volkswagen Beetle.


** Jordan **


Amman, Jordan


Bethany, Jordan


Fort Ajloun, Jordan


Jerash, Jordan


Jordanie romaine


Little Petra, Jordan


Madaba, Jordan


Mount Nebo


Petra, Jordan


Shobak - Krak Montreal


Um ar-Rasas


Um Qais


Wadi Rum




 - YouTube video library - Air to the throne

 - YouTube video library - Anamalie, (© Anamalie by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.



Shobak - Krak Montreal Jordan

Shobak (Krak Montreal)