WHERE TO GO IN JORDAN. Nainawa Nawaiseh My teacher Fatemah Nawaiseh Al Mazar WHERE TO GO IN JORDAN. WHERE TO GO IN JORDAN.
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Amman is built on many hills and is the modern capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The city was known in the Iron Age as Rabbath-Ammon, and later Philadelphia. Philadelphia was a member of the Decapolis, a loose confederation of 10 Graeco-Roman cities including Damascus, Pella, Gadara and Gerasa.
Places to visit: The Citadel, Temple of Hercules, Ummayad Palace, Byzantine Church, Roman Theatre, Nympheum, Jordan Archaeological Museum, King Abdullah Mosque and more.
Jerash, 45 km from Amman, is considered one of the most important and best preserved Roman cities in the Near East. Formerly, it was known as Antioch-On-The-Chrysorhoas (The Golden River), and also Gerasa.It was founded during the 2nd century BC after the Roman conquest in 63 BC.Jerash, and the lands surrounding it, were annexed to the Roman province of Syria, and later joined to the Decapolis.The Romans ensured security and peace in this area, which enabled its people to devote their time and effort to economic development and building activity. Dominating Jerash is the great temple of Artemis, dedicated to its patron Goddess, set on a spacious terrace and approached from the Cardo through a Monumental Gate and Stairway.In the Byzantine period, many churches were built, and also a cathedral, using Roman building material. Jerash’s Heyday was already past when the Persians invaded in 641 AD, and after the Arab conquest of 636 AD, it continued as a minor town under the Ummayads.
Ajloun itself may have got its name from Ajloun, the fat King of Eglon. Ibn Batuta, in 1355, said it’s “a fine town with good markets and a strong castle, a stream runs through the town and its waters are sweet and good”.Today, the town is the center of a qadha.Ajloun, 22 km from Jerash, stands on top of Jabal Auf.It is home to an Islamic castle, which was built by Izz Aldin Usama in 1184-1185 AD, and is considered one of the very few Islamic castles built to protect the country against the Crusader attacks.Its main purpose was to check the advance of the Crusader forces from Kerak in the south and from Baisan in the west of the Jordan Valley, to protect the caravan and pilgrim routes. The castle was enlarged and rebuilt by Aibak Ibn Abdullah, the Mamlouk governor (1214-1215 AD).Later, the castle lost its military importance after the fall of Kerak in 1187 AD.
Madaba is built on the site of the Moabite town of the same name.It was first mentioned in a song of victory, together with Dhiban and Hesban, and seems to be a place of importance.Madaba is famous as a land of mosaics.This town has a long history, being first mentioned in the Bible and in the Mesha Stele when it was a Moabite town.In the middle of the 2nd century BC, it became Ammonite, and in about 110 BC, it was captured by John Hercanous, and later by Alexander Jannaeus.In the Roman period, it became a provincial town with colonnaded streets. It was then the seat of a Bishopric government and is mentioned in the articles of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD.The most famous of the mosaics is the wonderful map of Palestine and Jordan in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George. It includes a fascinating plan of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
Mekawir is the site of Herod’s Palace, where one tradition has it that Solomon danced and John the Baptist was beheaded. On the way you pass the hill of Ataruth, which was given to the tribe of Gad, fortified by Omri, and later taken by Mesha. Once a large walled site, there is nothing left but a mass of shapeless ruins, marked by a burnt Pistacia tree. Mentioned in the Mesha Stele and destroyed by Gabinius (67 BC), it was rebuilt by Herod the Great, on the high mountain top with a nearby citadel. Upon the death of Herod, it became the property of Herod Antipas. According to Pliny, it was, after Jerusalem, the strongest fortress in the area.
Kerak, located 129 km from Amman, was once set deep in the land of Moabites and was witness to a bevy of bloody and brutal campains. The first part of the 5th century AD saw the arrival of Christianity. Kerak’s greatest period of importance was during the Crusader and Ayyupid period, to which most of the architectural remains date. The castle of Kerak was built in 1136 AD by Payem, the Crusader Lord of Kerak of Shoubak, to control Transjordan and to cut off communications between Egypt and Syria. It was captured by the Ayyupids in 1188 AD, and in 1263 AD, the Mamlouk ruler Baybar enlarged and built a tower on the northwest corner. It is one of the finest examples of Crusader military construction, its walls are strengthened with rectangular projecting towers, long stone vaulted galleries lit only by narrow slits, and a deep moat from the west which completely isolates the site.
It seems no work of man’s creative hand,By labor wrought as wavering fancy planned;But from the rock as if by magic grown,Eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine,Where erst Athena held her rites divine;Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,That crowns the hill and consecrates the plane;But rosy-red as if the blush of dawn,That first beheld them was not yet withdrawn;The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,Which man deemed old two thousand years ago;Match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,A rose-red city half as old as Time.
Dean BurgonOne of the world’s most exciting and adventurous travel experiences is a trip to the Rose-Red city of Petra. For 500 years or more, the Nabatean Arabs painstakingly carved their capital from the living rock of the surrounding mountains. Rock stairs led to rock-carved streets, and thence to rock-carved palaces, temples, tombs and dwellings. The Nabateans became protectors of the caravans moving northward from Arabia to the Mediterranean. In about 300 BC, with their caravan wealth, the Nabateans embellished their rock-carved city with towering temples and exquisite tombs occupying the entire face of a sheer cliff. These buildings are wonders even today. Well protected by the Siq, a narrow winding approach entrance to their rock city, the Nabateans prospered. Then Romans came, and Petra was annexed as a Roman province in 106 AD. Many buildings were added during the Roman period, including a rock-carved theatre, a colonnaded street, and a temple, which is the only free-standing building today. Changing trade routes altered the fortunes of Petra, and her revenues and importance declined.
Baidah is, in fact, a whole district in which there are two distinct sections of archaeological interest. It was, for the Nabateans, a focal area for the northern caravans at the end of the trade route into the markets of Palestine and Syria.The Neolithic village at Baidah dates from 7000 to 6500 BC.The main importance of the Baidah village is that it contains a uniquely complete record of architectural evolution from the early Neolithic period (c. 6800 BC).
Where you will find adventure and feel the romance of the Arabian desert… Wadi Rum is like a moonscape of ancient valleys and towering weathered sandstone mountains, rising out of white and pink colored sands.It has been inhabited since the earliest times, and seems to have been an important center for the Nabateans, as the ruins of a Nabatean temple have been found at the foot of the great massif of Wadi Rum. “Lawrence of Arabia” was filmed in Wadi Rum, and it was also the location where T. E. Lawrence himself was based during the Arab Revolt.
Aqaba is situated on the gulf of the Red Sea. It mainly flourished during the Roman period and held a strategic location on the caravan route between Arabia, Syria, Egypt and Palestine. In 1160 AD, the Crusader king Baldwin I occupied Aqaba.The Mamlouk Sultan, Qansuh Al-Ghuri, captured Aqaba in 1505 AD and built a fort which is still well preserved. Next to the Aqaba Castle, Sharif Hussein built a house which has been converted to a memorial museum of the Hashemite Royal Family.
The Desert Castles and Palaces were built by the Ummayad Caliphs in the 8th century AD.The Ummayads, whose original homeland was Arabia, made Damascus their capital.They built these castles and palaces in the Jordanian desert in order to maintain the caravan routes and to secure the loyalty of Jordanian tribes.In addition, they built hunting lodges to enjoy horse riding, hunting and bathing.
Gadara, now Umm Qais, was one of the most important cities in Jordan during the Graeco-Roman period, and is situated on a hilltop northwest of Irbid.During the period of Emperor Trojan, Gadara reached its golden age and most of its buildings date back to that century (2nd AD).Strabo, the Roman geographer, mentioned Gadara as a famous city for its hot springs, and a place for poets and philosophers.A famous Greek inscription is engraved on a basalt lintel, it reads:"To you I say, passer by: As you are, I was, as I am, you will be, use life as a mortal".
The Dead Sea, 55 km from Amman, is the lowest point on Earth.It lies at the bottom of a natural depression that reaches 409 m below sea level.The water is rich in mineral salts.It contains 4 times the amount of sodium chloride as is normally found in sea water, making it unsuitable for plant and animal life, but ideal for spas and medical treatments.