Although not as famous as its neighbour, Kerak, Showbak was still one of the principal Crusader castles. Known as Montreal it was built to defend the pilgrimage, trade and military routes between Syria and Arabia for the young Crusader kingdoms. It was captured by the Arab armies within a century of being built after a torrid siege: the defenders were able to hold out so long because of a deep well that provided them with water: you can descend the hundreds of steps into this well, but be warned – it is absolutely pitch-black! Nearly all the remains you see today are Mamluke Arab, with some beautiful Koranic inscriptions running in decorative bands around the towers. Little excavation has been done, making it a great castle to explore and let your imagination fill in the blanks.