How Geocaching Works
Use of geocaching.com services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer
Aqaba is located at the site of ancient city of Ayla. The cache is located inside the ruins of the ancient city.
Aqaba's long history dates back to pre-biblical times, when it was known as Ayla. According to the Bible's Old Testament, King Solomon built a navel base at Ezion Geber, just 3 kilometres from where the modern town of Aqaba stands today.
The walled city of Ayla was constructed during the early days of the Islamic era, a rare example of early Islamic urbanization policy. Its layout is marked by axial streets leading to 4 gates and intersecting in the middle, where a tetrapylon (4 interconnecting arches) was set up, thus recalling the plan of Roman legionary camps. Unearthed in the mid-1980s by an American-Jordanian archaeological team are the remains of Islamic Ayla, located along the main waterfront road, near the hotel district.
Islamic Ayla benefited from the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and continued to prosper until the end of the 12th Century when the city suffered from a series of earthquakes, Bedouin raids, and Crusader attacks. During the 12th century, Crusaders wrested Ayla from Muslims and built a castle on Pharaoh's Island. When Saladin captured Aqaba in 1182 AD, the castle became known as Saladin's Castle.
The Aqaba Fort was rebuilt in 1587 AD under one of the last Sultans of the Mamluk era and has been substantially altered several times since then. The Hashemite Coat of Arms was placed above the main doorway during the Great Arab Revolt of World War I. Running around the first bay of the passageway is a band of Arabic inscription which gives the name of the Mamluk Sultan, Qansweh El-Ghuri (1501-1516 AD), responsible for building the fort (The fort is open daily and entrance is free).
By the beginning of the 16th century Aqaba had been ruled by the Ottoman Empire. The city declined in status and for about 400 years remained a simple fishing village of little significance. During World War I, Ottoman forces withdrew from the town after the Arab Army of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, the Hashemite Leader of the Great Arab Revolt, attacked them in 1917. T. E. Lawrence, popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia, took part in this campaign.
Aqaba is now a city known for its excellent diving and snorkeling. Several large developments are being built in hopes of making the city a tourist destination.
tebhaq yriry; ebpx