Amman is pretty famous for it’s history. Post Roman Amphitheater, our next stop was to Amman Citadel which is one of the most visited historical place in Amman. It is located on top of highest hill in Amman named Jebel Al Qala’a and is about 850m above sea level.
Even though the citadel looks like an open space, the authorities have managed to maintain it to present it to the current and future generations. The Citadel is very near from the downtown. Hardly takes 5 minutes if you go by taxi. Visitors can see architecture and remnants of civilization from Romans at the legendary Temple of Hercules, the Byzantine Empire at the church ruins, as well as the spectacular Umayyad palace welcome hall. The citadel actually offers a diverse range of previous inhabitants, with evidence spanning from the Middle Bronze Age until its decline in use in the 13th century AD under the rule of the Ayyubid dynasty.
Let me walk you through some of the important sights of the citadel in detail.
One interesting thing to know here is the moment you walk inside the citadel from the entrance, you will be tempted to gaze at the beautiful view of Amman city and roman amphitheater. It is also called the vantage point. You will also notice that in Amman all the houses have been built on top of the hill. Trust me, you will be tempted to take snaps from this point as it offers mesmerizing view in the background 😉
1.Temple of Hercules
From the vantage point, you will witness some gigantic columns making their presence form far distance. Guess what, It is the famous Temple to Hercules. This temple was dedicated to a Supreme Roman Deity. It has been attributed to the popular hero-god Hercules due to the discovery of gigantic arms of a marble statue near the area. The two giant standing pillars are the remains of the Roman Temple of Hercules. The temple was expected to be built when Gemenius Marcianos was governor of provincia arabia in dedication to the co-emperors of Rome Marcus Aurelius (AD 161–80) and Lucius Verus. As soon as you start embracing these beautiful columns from near distance, your mind starts to wander to know how it would have looked during roman times.
2. Entrance to Ummayad Palace
Next , you will witness a prominent monumental gateway which was the formal entrance to Ummayad palace. In olden days, Visitors were screened here and then wait to be announced to the governor before entering his palace beyond. It was built during the early Islamic period i.e. late 7th to early 8th CE. This was probably built upon an existing Greek palace. But what remains today was probably the waiting area for the guests of the palace. It has the massive arched gateway with an interesting wooden ceiling covering the inside part of the dome. This is still in the process of restoration. Located next to it is a Hamman or a Bath that has a series of cold, warm and hot chambers.
3.Early Bronze Age Cave
Inside Citadel, You will also see an early bronze age cave which dates back to 2250 B.C . Tombs like these exists in different parts of Amman and they often have burials inside. This cave contains a series of rock cut tombs. If you step in through the opening, you will see limestone cavities.
Another interesting thing is the Byzantine Church, which is a 6th CE church that has only a floor plan and some Corinthian pillars left here. It apparently had a mosaic floor according to an inscription, but none of that can be seen here. All you see is a long nave like structure with a semicircular end.
5. Jordan Archaeological Museum
Last but not the least is the The Jordan Archaeological Museum, which presents the history and cultural heritage of Jordan in a series of beautifully designed galleries, serves as a comprehensive national center for learning and knowledge that reflects Jordan’s history and culture, and presents in an engaging yet educational way the Kingdom’s historic, antique and heritage property as part of the ongoing story of Jordan’s past, present, and future.
One of the most endearing aspects of the Jordan Archaeological Museum is the fact that all the artifacts are displayed in perfect chronological order, starting from the Paleolithic Period all the way through to the Ayyubid Period some 800 years ago.
The Panoramic view of Amman Citadel 🙂
It was a time well spent in the Amman citadel 🙂 . It stuffed our minds with so much of history about Jordan’s past. A must visit for people who love history 🙂 . We spent around 2 hours in this place 🙂
I hope these pics will make you visit Jordan whenever you plan your next travel. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here.
TIPS AND INFORMATION
1.It will just cost you around 1 to 2 JD to reach Citadel from Roman Amphitheater.
2.Entrance Fees to Citadel is 2 JD per person
2.If you are planning to explore Jordan completely , better to opt for a Jordan Pass from this link https://www.jordanpass.jo/ instead of getting the visa from embassy or On-Arrival. If you buy a Jordan Pass, you can save up to 40 USD per person.
3. If you want to explore amman’s historical sites, better to book accommodation near to the downtown.
4.JD – Jordanian Dinar , USD – United States Dollars
5.Never miss to visit the Hashem restuarant which is one of the oldest and pretty famous in Jordan.
6.You can use Uber for transportation in Amman which is less expensive compared to normal taxi’s.