Kerak was the stronghold of Raynald of Châtillon, Lord of Oultrejordain, 124 km south of Amman. The fortress was built in 1142 by Pagan the Butler, Lord of Montreal. While Raynald ruled, several truces existed between the Christian and Muslim states in the Holy Land, none of which he made any qualms about breaking. The last straw came in 1183 when he organized an expedition around the Red Sea. He captured the town of Aqaba, giving him a base of operations against Islam's holiest city, Mecca. Saladin, the leader of the Muslim forces, could not tolerate this and moved against Raynald's stronghold.
Demonstrations of war machines used during the Siege of Kerak in Kerak Castle Museum