Top reasons to visit "Middle Eastern Switzerland” Jordan
August 28, 2019
by Nataliya Nohachevska
Ahlan-wasahlan (traditional Arabic greeting) – welcome to Jordan, a peaceful and at the same time modern country filled with history and scent of old times. Jordan is an exceptional place where everywhere you can see the sights and hear the sounds of the oldest time. The place is blessed with some of the most renowned historical sights, some of the most spectacular views and some of the best cooking recipes on earth. On top of that, are the best and friendliest people across the globe – Jordanian locals. In Jordan, you can find some great accommodation and the best guides plus no need to be afraid of local instability – all this is guaranteed by his Highest Majesty King Abdullah the Second and his Royal family.
Reasons to visit Jordan
In Jordan, you are open to all kinds of touristic adventurers. The options are so wide. You can step into the very place where Jesus was baptized, see one of the biggest wonders of the world called Petra, float into the Dead Sea, or spend all free time while dining with your friends under the beautiful stars and sky of Wadi Rum desert. You can explore the country by simply crossing it through King’s Highway that spreads all across Jordan.Though all Jordan is full of history and natural wonders it is hard to focus on them all in this small tourist guide so we would limit our research to just one place – Amman, the capital of Jordan.
Amman – an overview with a historical retrospect
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a beautiful city full of contrasts where old connects with the new. The capital of Jordan is ideally situated on a hilly area and connects together Jordanian desert and the fertile part of the country called Jordan Valley. Nowadays, Amman has got a reputation as a commercial center with its ultra-modern buildings, art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques. At the same time there is a lot of history in this place. You can see the signs of Amman’s gorgeous past everywhere.
Places to see in Jordan
The most famous historical monuments of the capital of Jordan are concentrated in the old part of the city in the area known as the Citadel. Here is the highest point of the city – the hill of Jabal al-Qala. At the foot of the slope, along the Hashimi Square, is the Roman Theater of Amman. The theater was built in the 2nd century during the Roman Empire. On the steep steps of the theater could accommodate up to 6,000 spectators. At the ground level, there were two entrances, one of which led to the site for musicians, and the second – to the stage. Behind these entrances are now the Jordanian Museum of Popular Traditions and the Jordanian Folklore Museum. The theater is currently used as a venue for cultural events, including the Amman International Book Fair, the award ceremony at the Amman Marathon and musical concerts, primarily the Al-Balad Music Festival.
The temples of Hercules
Not far from the Roman theater is the Temple of Hercules, from which only a few columns and the foundation have survived to this day. The temple was built supposedly in the same period as the Roman Theater.
The size of the temple is 30 by 24 meters. On the portico, there are six columns up to 10 meters high. Since there are no remnants of additional columns, archaeologists believe that the temple was not completed, and the remaining marble was used to build the nearby Byzantine church.
Next to the temple was built a statue of Hercules with a height of presumably more than 12 meters. Probably the statue was destroyed by an earthquake. Only fragments of the hand of Hercules are preserved from her – three fingers and an elbow.
The mosque of King Abdallah
One of the brightest attractions of Amman is the mosque of King Abdullah I. The mosque was built from 1982 to 1989. The round building of the mosque is crowned with a magnificent dome with a blue mosaic. Tourists are allowed to attend the mosque. Men should have long trousers, and women should cover their heads, arms, and legs. Visitors are provided with free clothes with a hood.
In the Jabal-Amman district, there is the famous Rainbow Street and one of the most famous street markets in Jordan, Souk Jara. Here you will find works by local artisans, antiques, works of art, as well as clothing and groceries. Concerts and cultural events are often held here as well. The market is open from 10 am to 10 pm every Friday on summer days, from mid-May to early September.
The Jordanian Museum
Of the museums of Amman, the Jordanian Museum, built in 2014, should be number one in your list of must-see-places in Amman. The museum is located in the Ras Al Ain area. The museum collection contains most of the valuable archaeological finds made in Jordan, including some Dead Sea scrolls, Neolithic statues and a copy of the stele of King Mesh.
The Royal Automobile Museum
An interesting exhibition has the Royal Automobile Museum, located next to the public parks of Al Hussein. The museum was created by King Abdullah in 2003. Here you can get acquainted with a rare collection of Jordan vehicles, from Hussein bin Ali’s vehicles that arrived in Amman in 1916, to modern sports cars. The museum also has a rover, which was used to shoot the film “Martian”, held in the Jordanian desert Wadi Rum. Rover was donated to Jordan in response to the hospitality with which Jordan met the film crew.
Hope my Amman traveling guide has convinced you to visit Jordan and its exceptionally beautiful capital Amman. Up till now, this country is number one in my must-see-places list. The uniqueness of this place is that it has both historical and natural resources. Definitely, recommend you to see this country if you want to see something new that you have never seen before in terms of nature and history! Bon Voyage!