You may have visited Aqaba before, or it is on your trip list. If you are planning to visit, you should not forget your cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. In Aqaba you can find a lot of interesting places to explore, one of these places are Aqaba Fortress.
Aqaba Fortress or “Qale’et Al-Aqaba” as its pronounced in Arabic, is an old fort located near the beach, in the center of the city.
The Ottomans held onto the castle during World War one in 1917, the fortress was substantially destroyed by shelling from the British Royal Navy. The Hashemite coat of arms above the main entrance commemorates the Arab Revolt that swept through Aqaba, ousting the Turks.
The History of The Fortress
Sultan Qanswah el-Ghawri constructed the fortress between 1501 and 1517 AD during the Mameluke dynasty. the fort was originally designed as a stop for pilgrims from the Levant and provided safety and food, but also it was designed to protect the city from any possible invasion and pirates, and it continued to protect the city under the leadership of Mameluke and followed by the Ottoman Empire.
Until the Great Arab Revolt in 1916. After 500 years of service, the veteran soldier was defeated by Prince Faisal with the support of the British Royal Navy and Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. Large portions of the fort were destroyed as a result of the conflict known as the Battle of Aqaba.
The Design of The Fort
The fort is rectangular, measuring 56 x 58 meters. with two towers and gate in the middle. The towers where structured around internal space, and a polygonal exterior. However, with time they were rebuilt to take an overall rounded structure.
The walls were built to encompass a two-story set of chambers and they used to provide safety for travelers and pilgrims, but later during the war with Ottomans, it’s utilized for army accommodation. In addition to the presence of slogans for the Great Arab Revolt and the Hashemite Coat of Arms
how to Get to the fort ?
To visit or not to vist
Although a large part of the fort was destroyed during the war, but it is still very important because most tourists go there when they are visiting Aqaba, which means that it is a strong attraction for tourism, and this what the city want. In addition, the fort is close to the main market and the beach, which makes it easy to reach. And it is a historical piece of the city, and it represents part of the civilization and culture of the city.
Best time to visit Aqaba fort
Due to its geographical location, visiting Aqaba is pleasant throughout the year. It might get crowded during the colder part of the year as it becomes a warm refuge to a lot of Jordanians during the winter.
Sunday –Thursday 08:00 – 17;00
Friday – Saturday 10:00 – 17:00
Sunday –Thursday 08:00 – 16;00
Friday – Saturday 10:00 – 16:00