Amman (also known as the Philadelphia of ancient times) is a stunning city filled with history. Your day
will be enriched with a visit to see its ancient Roman ties downtown exhibiting its citadel overlooking the
– Temple of Hercules
– Umayyad Mosque
– The Roman Amphitheatre
– Roman Theater the Museum of Popular Life
– Artifacts of popular Costume and Audium
Jordan’s Umayyad desert castles are beautiful examples of early Islamic art and architecture and stand
testament to a fascinating era in the country’s rich history. Take a half-day tour and delve deep into the
history of Jordan under the expertise of a professional guide.
The structures are called “castles” because of their imposing stature. The desert complexes once served
various purposes as caravan stations, agriculture and trade centers, resort pavilions, and outposts that
helped distant rulers forge ties with local Bedouins.
Inside the castles, early Islamic art can be found. The fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings
are inspired by the best in Persian and Graeco-Roman traditions and reveal to us countless stories of the
life as it was during the 8th Century.
Alongside the castles you will also visit the black basalt fort at Azraq, which had been in continuous use
since late Roman times, and was the headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia during the Arab Revolt.
You will meet our driver at the hotel lobby between 8 a.m. – 10 a.m (your exact timing will be provided by the support team, one day before the tour) after the entail greetings, you start your journey.
The citadel. This is definitely something that you don’t want to miss as it has withstood the test of time and is evidence that modern Amman has been inhabited for the past 7,000 years.
Upon arriving at the citadel, you will notice that it is grandly situated on the peak of an L-shaped mountain. Its special location will reveal incredible views of the seven mountains that assemble Amman, leaving you in awe.
Temple of Hercules: Built between 162 and 166 AD, this massive structure dedicated to Hercules is larger than any of the temples in Rome.
Byzantine Church: A basilica built between the 5th and 6th centuries.
Umayyad Mosque: The remains of the Umayyad governor’s palace mosque dating from the 8th century.
Dome of the Vestibule: A modern recreation of the interior of the dome of the Umayyad Vestibule.
Now we head southeast towards the historical desert castles. These beautiful testaments on the greatness of the Islamic architecture were built or taken by the Ummayad Caliphs in the 7th and 8th century. The first fort to encounter is “Kasr El-Kharrana”, which was built for the Caliph Al-Walid 1st but the purpose from it remains a mystery, as the fortified ground floor seems to be a roadside inn but the upper floors are very sumptuous and elegant.
Our next stop is Quseir Amra (which means Amra’s small palace), and it is a UNESCO world heritage site. It consists of three long halls with colorful frescoes and amazing beautiful chambers. After that, we go to Azraq Oasis and Azraq fort where we find the only water in all the eastern desert, and the black basalt rocks that form a strategic position that dates back to the 13th century CE. During the Arab revolt against the Ottoman’s empire, Lawrence of Arabia made the fort his headquarters and stationed there.
After almost a day exploring the city and desert castles, time to return back to Amman, the drive once again will be around 1.5hrs.