Amman Sights and Landmarks Guide, Jordan
The city of Amman, like other Levantine cities of Beirut, Byblos, Damascus, Jericho, Jerusalem, Sidon, etc., is one of the oldest ‘continuously inhabited’ cities of the world. Different civilizations – Byzatine, Islamic, Roman and others have risen and declined during this almost continuous inhabitation, enriching the city architecturally, culturally and otherwise. No wonder that Amman is one of the preferred tourist destinations of the world full of sights and attractions, both ancient and modern.
We here categorize the several Amman sights into simple subheads for you to easily plan your tour.
Amman Sights – Archeological Attractions
Amman’s archeological sites are mostly located in and around the downtown area. You can start your Amman city tour with a visit to the citadel, which sits atop Jabal al-Qala’a hill. Excavations carried out on the site have indicated that it has been used as a fortress since the Bronze Age days (when the city was known as Rabbath-Ammon) and has been used by almost all subsequent civilizations.
You can next proceed to the famous site of the Roman Amphitheater. The three-tiered theater built in the 2nd century AD (when the city was known as Philadelphia) can seat around 6000 people. Some sporting events are still organized at the restored theater.
Other important Amman sights close to the Amphitheater are the Forum and the Odeon. While the Forum happened to be a public square of the Roman period, the Odeon is a small-sized Roman amphitheater (with a seating capacity for 500 people), which was used for musical performances.
The other notable archeological attractions of Amman are the Temple of Hercules and the Nymphaeum (a two-storey fountain-complex) belonging to the Roman period and a 6th century Byzantine church.
Amman Sights – Modern Architectural Attractions
Amman has quite a few mosques, of which at least three are remarkable for their architecture. We first name the Abu Darwish Mosque, which stands on the hill named Jabal al-Ashrafiyeh. The use of alternating layers of white and black stones gives the mosque its stunning look. (Followers of Islamic faith are the only ones allowed inside this mosque).
The other two famous mosques are King Abdullah Mosque and King Hussein Mosque. While the former was built under the patronage of King Hussein in 1989 (as a memorial for his grandfather King Abdullah I), the latter was commissioned by King Abdullah I himself. King Hussein Mosque stands at the site of an Umayyad-period mosque and acts as a meeting-ground for the locals. King Abdullah Mosque is considered extraordinary because of its blue-dome.
Beside these, Amman has a whole host of museums and galleries scattered in different parts of the city. Museums like Folklore Museum, Islamic Museum, Museum of Archaeology, National Archaeological Museum, Military Museum, Museum of the Political History of HM Late King Abdullah bin al-Hussein, etc. will give you glimpses of the city’s past through their collection of artifacts, arms, relics, tools, instruments and records. The Royal Automobile Museum with its collection of 70 classic cars and motorbikes will be an interesting site to check.
Visits to cultural centers and galleries like Darat al-Funun and Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts will quench your artistic thirst, especially if you are keen on knowing more about the contemporary art-scenario.
If you deem these too challenging for the gentle sensibilities of your children, you can take the kids to Amman sights like the Al-Pasha Turkish Bath, Amman Waves, Haya Cultural Center or Luna Park. The kids will enjoy the experience.
Things about Amman you may be interested in
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