Desert Castles, Amman

The Umayyad desert castles, of which the desert castles of Jordan represent a noticeable part, are fortified royal residences or castles in what was the then Umayyad territory of Bilad al-Sham.

Stretching east of Amman, the dry desert plain moves on to Iraq and Saudi Arabia. This is where the unending sand and desolate basalt landscapes give proof to man’s ability to prosper under brutal conditions. Today it is possible to see numerous relics of the early and medieval Islamic periods in Jordan. Dabbed all through the steppe-like terrain of eastern Jordan and the central slopes are various historical remains of the 8th century, including strongholds, forts, towers, baths, caravan inns, agriculture and trade centres, and strengthened royal residences. And their fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations, inspired by the best in Persian and Graeco-Roman traditions. All these are known collectively as the desert castles or desert palaces.

The antiquated Citadel is the site of ancient Rabbath-Ammon, and excavations here have uncovered numerous Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic remains. The most impressive building of the Citadel, referred to as al-Qasr, dates back to the Islamic Umayyad time frame. It incorporates a monumental passage, a 6,000 seat Roman Theater, and four vaulted chambers. See the Citadel’s most striking sights, which are the Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace, and a Byzantine Church.

Do not forget to pay a visit to the Jordan Archaeological Museum and the Folklore Museum, located within the above two sites, presenting the history and cultural heritage of Jordan in a series of wonderfully planned exhibitions.

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