Amman Jordan

The capital Amman is situated on several hills and houses almost half of the country's population. Worth seeing in the so-called white city is the Citadel hill, once an important military and religious site. Other interesting place are the Archaeological Museum, the Roman Theater, the King Abdullah Mosque and the Abu Darweesh Mosque.
Amman is originally built on 7 hills, but spreads today over 20. It is mainly a modern city with restaurants, art galleries, malls, hotels and almost uniformly white houses in accordance with a municipal law. But Amman is changing its skyline due to the lifted ban of building taller than 4 storey houses, several skyscrapers are under construction. Amman has a rapid growth in the real estate, construction, finance and business sectors. Much older, more traditional and exotic is the downtown area - also known as the ''Souq'' - with small shops.

Despite its modern spirit, Amman is one if the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. It was the capital of the Ammonites, and it is referred to as Rabbath-Ammon in the Old Testament. Rebuilt during the Hellenistic and Roman periods the city was renamed Philadelphia by Ptolemy II. in 63 B.C. In 106 AD, the Roman Emperor Trajan built a new road from Eilat to Damascus which ran through Philadelphia. This created an economic boom for the city. Later, during the Byzantine Period, the city was home to bishop and several churches in the early 7th Century. In the early Islamic Era the city was named Amman and important through its location on trade routes and for its strategic military position. In the 10th century the city declined. In 1921 the Emir of Transjordan Abdullah bin Hussein moved his capital to Amman.

Some of its cultural heritage you can visit in the downtown area. On the Citadel hill you see the remains of the the 2nd century Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace and a Byzantine basilica. Many valuable remains and important relics from across Jordan can be found in the Archaeological Museum located at the Citadel. The Roman Theatre is the largest in Jordan, with room for 6,000 spectators. The east wing houses the Folklore Museum, the western wing the Museum of Popular Traditions.

The only mosque non-Muslims are allowed to enter is the King Abdullah Mosque with its blue mosaic dome, built between 1982 and 1989. The most unusual mosque in Amman is the Abu Darwish Mosque. It is covered with an extraordinary black-and-white chequered pattern and is unique to Jordan.



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