Ajloun is one the most scenic areas, overlooking the northern mountains of Jordan, dominated by the Ajloun Castle (Also known as Al-Rabad Castle), perched on the highest peak. The Ajloun area has been inhabited by people for over 9 thousand years, with ruins and remains dating back to the Neolithic periods. Today, the area features several historical monuments, and a nature reserve.
The Ajloun Castle which sits on the highest point, was built in 1184 as a military fortress to protect the trade routes and defend against the crusades by Izzedin Usama Al Mungidh, who was one of the generals of Saladin and later in 1214 it was expanded.
Today the castle is one of the best examples of Medieval Islamic architectural landmarks, with great gates, vaulted ceilings, and towers, and wall slits acting as fortified windows for archers.
With its breathtaking landscape of hills and mixed forests, the Ajloun Nature Reserve is definitely worth every minute of the experience. Located in the north of Jordan, very close to the Ajloun village of Umm Al-Yanabee, the Ajloun Nature Reserve was started in 1988 under the management of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN).
The Reserve can best be described as an area of hills covered by dense woodlands of evergreen oak, scattered with pistachio, carob and strawberry trees. One of the major attractions at the Reserve is the excellent hiking trails, with a variety of paths suitable for people of all fitness levels.
The Ajloun woodlands are a classic example of the typical Jordanian type of forest cover, and have always been of utmost importance for the locals as the forests provide them with food, wood and medicine. The forest also has several species, foxes, wolves, hyena, woodland birds, and herds of wild boar, as well as roe deer. In spring, the grounds are covered with vibrantly colored anemones, rock roses and several other wild flowers.
What to See in Ajloun:
- Ajloun Castle
- Great Ajloun Mosque
- Lady of the Mountain Church
- Shrine for Al-Khadir (St. George)
- Church of St Elijah
- Birthplace of the Prophet Elijah (at Listib)
- The monastery