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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

KIR or Kir may refer to:

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Kerak is a large crusader castle located in Al Karak in Jordan. It is one of the largest crusader castles in the Levant.

File:Kerak BW
Kerak castle is located on a rocky spur

[[File:|thumb|250px|left|The entrance to a tower in the castle that was added during the Mamluk period with the seal of Baibars (the two lions) on it]]

Construction of the castle began in the 1140s, under Pagan, the butler of Fulk of Jerusalem. The Crusaders called it Crac des Moabites or "Karak in Moab", as it is frequently referred to in history books. Kerak should not be confused with Krak des Chevaliers.

Paganus was also Lord of Oultrejordain (Transjordan), and Karak became the centre of his power, replacing the weaker castle of Montreal to the south. Because of its position east of the Jordan River, Karak was able to control Bedouin herders as well as the trade routes from Damascus to Egypt and Mecca. His successors, his nephew Maurice and Philip of Milly, added towers and protected the north and south sides with two deep rock-cut ditches (the southern ditch also serving as a cistern). The most notable Crusader architectural feature surviving is the north wall, into which are built immense arched halls on two levels. These were used for living quarters and stables, but also served as a fighting gallery overlooking the castle approach and for shelter against missiles from siege engines.

In 1176 Raynald of Châtillon gained possession of Karak after marrying Stephanie of Milly, the widow of Humphrey III of Toron (and daughter-in-law of Humphrey II). From Karak, Raynald harassed the trade caravans and even attempted an attack on Mecca itself. In 1183 Saladin besieged the castle in response to Raynald's attacks. The siege took place during the marriage of Humphrey IV of Toron and Isabella of Jerusalem, and Saladin, after some negotiations and with a chivalrous intent, agreed not to target their chamber while his siege machines attacked the rest of the castle. The siege was eventually relieved by King Baldwin IV.

After the Battle of Hattin in 1187, Saladin besieged Karak again and finally captured it in 1189.

In AD 1263, the Mamluk ruler Baybars enlarged and built a tower on the north-west corner. In AD 1840, Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt captured the castle and destroyed much of its fortifications.

During the Ottoman period, it played an important role due to its strategic location on the crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Greater Syria.


The castle extends over a southern spur of the plateau. It is a notable example of Crusader architecture, a mixture of European, Byzantine, and Arab designs. Its walls are strengthened with rectangular projecting towers and long stone vaulted galleries are lighted only by arrow slits. The castle has a deep moat that isolated it from the rest of the hill on the West. Such a moat is a typical feature of spur castles. The steep slopes of the spur are covered by a glacis. While Kerak is a large and strong castle, its design is less sophisticated than that of concentric crusader castles like Krak des Chevaliers, and its masonry is comparatively crude.

In the lower court of the castle is the Karak Archaeological Museum, which was newly opened in 2004 after renovation work. It introduces local history and archaeology of Karak region – the land of Moab – from the prehistoric period until the Islamic era. The history of Crusaders and Muslims at Karak castle and town is introduced in detail.


  • Kennedy, Hugh (2000). Crusader Castles. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-79913-9. 

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Kerak article)

From Wikitravel

Asia : Middle East : Jordan : Kerak

Kerak (also spelt Karak, Arabic al-Kerak) is a small, Arab city (population 170,000) in southern Jordan. It has a significant Christian population. Kerak is located on the King's Highway, some 124 km south of the capital Amman, and is the site of a magnificently-situated Crusader castle, now an evocative ruin on the skyline above the city.

Cruisader castle
Cruisader castle

Get in

Minibuses to Amman (JD 0.750) and Aqaba (JD 1.750) run roughly hourly.

  • Citadel of Kerak (Qasr). A former Crusader stronghold, it was ransacked by Saladin and left to rot for 500 years until restoration started. It would be impressive if it was rebuilt as it once was, but at the moment it's a confusing and entirely undocumented jumble of collapsed ceilings and unlit corridors. Admission JD 1.
    • The museum (Karak Archaeological Museum) is situated in the lower court of the castle. This museum introduces the local history and archaeology of Kerak castle, region and city. Detail history of the Crusader and Muslim dynasty at Kerak is introduced in museum, in addition to the exhibition of excavated artifacts from Kerak castle. Open 9 AM to 5 PM daily, no separate admission.
  • Karak Rest House (see also Sleep). Conveniently located next to the citadel and with views all the way to the Dead Sea on a good day, but the food is overpriced and mediocre. Beers JD2.
  • Delicious Meal Walk down the steep hill towards the main road in Karak, turn right and walk down past the Circle and it's on the left hand side, there is a giant sign with its name on it. You can get the best schwarma in Jordan here and it's really cheap too. Much better than the overpriced mediocre food located next to the castle.
  • Karak Rest House. Tel. 03-2351148. The fanciest digs in town with 3 stars, located 20 meters from the citadel with excellent views. That said, JD27.500/40 (including taxes and breakfast) for comfortable but rather minimal rooms is still a little steep, and you'll be woken up bright and early by the mosque next door.
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




kir or Kir (plural: kirs or Kirs)

  1. A cocktail made with a measure of crème de cassis topped up with white wine.




kir f.

  1. ant




kir (definite accusative kiri, plural kirler)

  1. dirt



  • pislik
  • pasak

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

a wall or fortress, a place to which Tiglath-pileser carried the Syrians captive after he had taken the city of Damascus (2 Kings 16:9; Amos 1:5; 9:7). Isaiah (22:6), who also was contemporary with these events, mentions it along with Elam. Some have supposed that Kir is a variant of Cush (Susiana), on the south of Elam.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

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