Qasr Asraq is one of the desert "castles," a catch-all phrase for remarkable structures that include hunting lodges,
caravansaries (desert "hotel/trading posts"), and true Roman-style fortresses. The first castle was Asraq,
located near an oasis on an historic trade route. Built by Romans in the fourth century of massive black basalt
blocks, it is utilitarian, designed for battle. In 1917, T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia), along with King Abdullah's
great-great-grandfather, used Asraq as a headquarters for the Arab revolt against the Turkish Ottoman Empire.