Like other Arab fortresses of the period, Qalaat Jaber uses a central core of high ground, tightly circumscribed by defensive walls and a ditch.  It once overlooked an important crossing point on the Euphrates, and has gained in visual impact with the encroachment of the waters of Lake Assad to the base of the castle.  The rise on which the castle stood is now an island joined to the shore by a causeway.  Look out from the battlements for a breathtaking view over the intensely blue waters of the lake.