11 Historical Sites in Jordan You Have To Visit (And All The History You Need to Know)

Amman Citadel

Amman airport is the international gateway to Jordan, with a potential for additional than 12 million passengers each year. Paraphrasing William Faulkner, to realize Jordan, you have to initially realize a spot like Amman. It is one particular of the unusual countrywide capitals not situated on a river or port. The Eastern Mediterranean coast is comparable to the Southern California coast. It is dry, but the coastal climate has large temperatures of 65 in the wintertime and 85 in the summertime, just a little hotter than San Diego but incredibly enjoyable. Mountains increase over the coastal plains, and over and above them is tough desert. In southern California, it is the Colorado Desert, and in the Center East, it is the Syrian Desert. Amman is in the highlands over the coastal plain and rivers but over the severe desert warmth, variety of like Julian, California.

Jordon does not have massive fertile river plains like Egypt or Mesopotamia or the Mediterranean trade routes like Greece, Rome, or Istanbul. Historically, Amman controlled overland trade routes and farmed in the highlands when situations were good. When trade collapsed, the metropolis generally reverted to tribes of semi-nomadic herders. Amman’s survival depended on retaining advanced associations with some of the most effective empires in heritage. Potentially this is why some people today phone Jordan the “Switzerland of the Middle East”.

The Amman Citadel is an archeological internet site at the middle of downtown Amman on one particular of the seven hills that originally made up the city. The Citadel has a lengthy historical past of occupation by a lot of terrific civilizations:

  • 1200 BCE – Capital of the Kingdom of Ammon
  • 8th century BCE – Neo-Assyrian Empire
  • 6th century BCE – Neo-Babylonian Empire
  • 3rd century BCE – Ptolemies
  • 1st century BCE – Romans 
  • 3rd century CE – Byzantines
  • 7th century CE – Umayyads
  • 1516-1918 CE – Ottomans

These civilizations left their mark on the Citadel, which include the Roman Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace, the Byzantine church, and the Ayyubid watchtower.

I was astounded to uncover a complete-blown historic web site surrounded by a planet capital. More than anything, I recognized the Greco-Roman architecture quickly, and, judging from the palms, I could only picture how big the Hercules statue must have been. Of training course, I have manufactured that mistake right before in my youth, so I’ll reserve my judgment😉. 

What I beloved most about the Amman Citadel were being the nearby museums. The Jordan Archaeological Museum was founded in 1951, proper in the middle of the Citadel. It incorporates artifacts chronologically organized from prehistoric moments to the 15th century. It was obvious that the museum was too little, so the Jordan Museum was created in 2014. It is only a 20-moment walk from the Citadel. Inside of its 10,000 sq. meters inside, you are going to obtain ʿAin Ghazal statues, some of the world’s oldest human figures ever produced, and the Copper Scroll, one particular of the Dead Sea Scrolls.