Ajloun Castle, tower
Ajloun Castle (Qal'at Ar-Rabad) was built by one of Saladin's generals, Izzeddin Usama Mungidh, in 1184 AD to control the iron mines of Ajlun, and to deter the Franks from invading Ajlun. Ajlun Castle dominated the three main routes leading to the Jordan Valley and protected the trade and commercial routes between Jordan and Syria; it became an important link in the defensive chain against the Crusaders, who, unsuccessfully spent decades trying to capture the castle and the nearby village.
One of the four original towers of Ajloun Castle, looking out across the pine forests. Ajloun Castle was one of the stopping posts for pigeons, allowing messages to be sent from Damascus to Cairo in 12 hours. Maybe it is no wonder that pigeons are still so popular in the region.
There is a very well presented site on Jordan, organised by Visit Jordan - here is the micro-site relating to Ajloun.