Jaaber castle between the past and the present

Ja’aber Castle is located on the left bank of the Euphrates River, 15 km from the Euphrates dam and 50 km from the western part of Raqqa city. It overlooks a beautiful lake.

The Castle is located on a fragile calcareous plateau and reaches a height of 347 meters above sea level. This castle has a long form of 320 meters to the north and south, 170 meters to the east and to the west is surrounded by two giant walls, one inside and one outside. The defensive towers are more than thirty-five towers. ‏

The castle gate is located on the western side. It is built of bricks, like the rest of the castle building. It leads to a small passage leading to a courtyard that ends in a huge tower called( Alyia tower). The visitor turns to the left to see a tunnel dug into the rock leading to the roof of the castle. The tunnel, which was about 50 meters long, was covered with bricks and most of this cladding now has only a few remains.

A mosque was built in the center of the citadel, its minaret remains high at the highest point of view of all that surrounds it. After the dam was built in 1974, it was surrounded by water in all its facets and became a small island in the middle of the vast lake.

The castle is attributed to Ja’bar ibn al-Qusairi, , known as Sabiqq al-Din, which dates back to the fifth century AH. However, the clear history of this fortress begins with the seizure of the Seleucid Sultan Malak Shah ibn al-Arslan in 1086 AD, on his way from Isfahan to the city. After the conquest of Aleppo, the castle was given to Salem bin Malik bin Badran, who surrendered to him in the citadel of Aleppo, and gave it with tenderness and many of its waste.

 Ja’bar remained in his hands and hands after his children until they were taken by Nur al-Din Mahmud bin Zanki in 1168. When the Ayyubid state entered Ja’bar in its authority and its most important princes, King Hafez Nur al-Din Arslan Shah, who owned it for forty-two years.‏‏

In 1260 AD, the Mongols destroyed the fortress when Hulaku crossed the Euphrates River towards Aleppo, and the Ja’abar fortress remained a ruin until the era of the Mamluk Sultan Al-Nasir ibn Qalawun, where Prince Salafuddin Abu Bakr Al-Bashari arrived. He was accompanied by the Emir and the architects. 1334 AD. After that the status of the castle gradually weakened until it became obsolete and became a breeding ground for the tribesmen and their cattle.

The Ja’abar Citadel was a tourist center for many tourists, where it was meant for everyone to recreation and tourism was formed with the lake a beautiful landmark of Syria’s archaeological landmarks.

After they seized control of the castle, they prepared a central prison for them and placed their weapons above the castle because they reveal all the areas around it and also inflicted a lot of damage to the castle, where some of the features of the castle were distorted and most of the effects were stolen and sold to Turkey and neighboring countries and the destruction of a large part.

It is worth mentioning that Syrian Democratic Forces managed to liberate the citadel from the mercenaries on 9/1/2017 and the castle of Jaabar despite the battles that took place in the region remained high and steadfast.


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