Fortress of Pharaoh's Island

Located on Pharaoh's Island (Coral Island or Geziret Faraun) in the Gulf of Aqaba is an amazing fortress which gracefully stands between Taba's clear waters.
 
This fortress was built during the time of the Crusaders by Baldwin I, the King of Jerusalem in 1116 A.D. King Baldwin mainly built this fortress because it was in the centre of a huge trade route between the Far East and Europe, easily defendable being on high ground, is the narrowest point on the Gulf of Aqaba.
 
Also, during the Crusaders times this fortress was used to collect taxes on Arab merchants, attack Arab shipping, and also protecting pilgrims traveling between Jerusalem and St. Catherine's Monastery.
 
A battle took place on the island in about 1170 where the fortress was captured by Salah El-Din, who largely expanded the fortress. After that period the Mamelukes and Ottomans had some further additions to the fortress.
 
The fortress has many small rooms, which include sleeping quarters for troops, bath houses, and kitchens with huge ovens. There are towers for pigeons, which were used for relaying messages and also circular towers for archers.
 
What is also fascinating about this place is that from the top of this fortress you can view four of the most important countries in this region, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. This fortress also allows a great deal of relaxation being amidst clear blue waters and being away from any noise or pollution.

 

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