Qasr Al Azraq

Qasr Al Azraq

Qasr Al Azraq, along with Qasr Al Harrana and Qasr Amra, both east of the capital and reached via Highway 40. Visitors can explore most of the castle, both upstairs and downstairs, except for some sections closed off while the rock is shored up. Its strategic value came from the nearby oasis, the only water source in a vast desert region. 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.

Qasr al-Azraq is a crusader castle situated close to the small town of Azraq. This castle dates back to around 300AD, however; the section of the castle that remains today was constructed in 1237. Qasr al-Azraq is a historically significant castle that was once the home of T.E. Lawrence (more commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia) during the Arab Revolt in 1917. Visitors can easily reach Qasr Al Azraq from the town of Azraq which is just five kilometers away.

Qsar al-Azraq and the town of Azraq are situated in central eastern Jordan, approximately 80 kilometers from the city of Amman. Azraq is located in the Jordanian desert and is the point where three separate deserts join together and continue into Saudi Arabia. A car journey from Amman to Azraq takes around one and a half hours.

Although it is a notable crusader castle, Qsar al-Azraq was in fact built by the Romans in the 3rd Century AD. Due to its location along the Wadi Sirhan trade route and close proximity to a large lake of water, it was in a convenient position for the Roman military.

The main thing to do in Azraq is to visit Qsar al-Azraq. This castle is the main draw for tourists to the area and for good reason too. The site has played a significant role in Jordanian military history and visitors can grasp an understanding of this by exploring the remains of the fortress.

There are remains from the original 3rd Century AD building including an altar close to the entrance. Visitors can also visit the room of T.E. Lawrence which was constructed with arrow slits and strategic views. The impressive basalt door located in the western tower was made famous by Lawrence in the book Seven Pillars of Wisdom. There is also a 13th Century mosque and the remains of a prison, kitchen and dining room.