What to See in Northern Jordan

By | July 18, 2022

As a rule, the first city where tourists arrive who want to visit Jordan is Amman . Amman has been the capital of Jordan since 1921. People began to settle here since ancient times, BC the city was the capital of the Ammonite kingdom and was called Rabbat-Ammon. Later, the Greco-Roman city of Philadelphia, one of the ten cities of the Decapolis, was located here. Amman stands on several hills, its main attractions are located at the foot of the four hills in the Lower City, and hotels, bars, restaurants and shops are located on the hills themselves.

According to Top-mba-universities, it is worth starting a tour of the city from the foot of the hill “Fortress Mountain”, it was here that the ancient Rabbat-Ammon was located. In this place, the remains of the fortress walls, the columns of the Byzantine church of the 6th century and the ruins of the Roman temple of Hercules of the 2nd century, represented by colonnades, have been preserved. The Jordanian Archaeological Museum is also located here, which contains a collection of finds from prehistoric times to the 15th century. At the “Fortress Mountain” there is a Roman amphitheater, which is the best preserved building from the ancient city of Philadelphia (2nd century AD). Today it is used for cultural and sporting events. There are two museums near the amphitheater – the Jordanian Folklore Museum, which tells about the culture and life of the local population, and the Jordanian Museum of Folk Traditions, which displays traditional Jordanian costumes and jewelry. Odeon, which was built around the same time as the Roman amphitheatre. It accommodates 5,000 spectators, and today music concerts are given here. It is also worth seeing the fountain of the times of Philadelphia – Nymphaeum. It was built in the 2nd century AD.

In the center of New Amman stands the city’s largest mosque, the King Abdullah Mosque. It was built in the Ottoman style in 1924 on the site of an ancient mosque. The Museum of Islam is also open here. Between the Mosque and the “Fortress Hill” is located the area of ​​​​the eastern markets of Sug. The ancient city of Salt is located 20 km northwest of Amman.. At the beginning of the 20th century, during the Ottoman rule, Salt was an important administrative center, so today its architecture is dominated by buildings made in the Ottoman style. The Archaeological Museum is open here, which houses collections of coins and ceramics dating back to 4500 BC, as well as the Cultural Center with a school of crafts, which exhibits jewelry, traditional Palestinian embroideries, Bedouin carpets and ceramics.

Southwest of Amman, on a desert plateau, is the Wadi Sher valley, where the Iraq al-Amir palace stands. This is the only Hellenistic palace left in the Middle East today. Not far from here you can see the ruins of the castle of Slaves, which is unique in that it is built from huge stone blocks, some of the largest ever used in construction in the Middle East. The dimensions of the blocks reach 3X7 m, and the thickness is only 50 cm, so the castle was destroyed in one of the earthquakes.

If you go north from Amman through the ancient mountainous region of Jordan Gilead, you can get to Jerash , where the remains of the ancient Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, the largest city of the Decapolis, were excavated. Geras was destroyed by an earthquake and buried under a layer of rubble. It was excavated in 1920 and it turned out that most of the structures remained in good condition. Now the entrance to this territory is paid. Of the sights, one can single out the majestic three-vaulted Arc de Triomphe, the Hippodrome, which was the smallest in the Roman Empire (its length is 245 m and its width is 52 m), the Oval Square, surrounded by 56 columns, from which a 600-meter road departs, also surrounded by columns, the largest building of the ancient city – the Temple of Artemis, theaters, baths and the Roman bridge. Every year in July, a colorful festival with performances is held here, and in the Archaeological Museum, you can learn about the history of this region.

West Jerash is worth visiting Ajlun Castle. It was built in the 12th century by the Arabs. The castle stands on a hill overlooking three roads into the Jordanian valley, it was previously intended to protect trade routes from Syria, as well as to protect against attacks by the crusaders. The castle was partially destroyed during an earthquake.

77 km north of Amman is the city of Irbid. Two museums are of interest here – the Jordanian Heritage Museum, which is considered one of the best archaeological museums in the country, and the Historical Museum. Excursions to the ruins of ancient cities – Pella and Umm Qais – depart from Irbid. In the northern part of the Jordan Valley lie the ruins of the ancient city of Pella. (one of the cities of the Decapolis). Here, in addition to the ruins of the Greco-Roman period, you can see the remains of settlements of the Bronze Age (4000 BC). In the very north of the country is the city of Umm Qais, where another city of the Decapolis of Gadara was once located. Umm Qais is mentioned in the Bible in chapter 8 of Matthew and is called the country of Gergesin. In the city, it is worth seeing the Acropolis, built in the 3rd century AD, the Forum, the road surrounded by columns and the ruins of an ancient church, from which only columns remained. Umm Qais also houses the Archaeological Museum. From the city hills, you can enjoy amazing views of the northern part of the Jordan Valley, the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights. During the Roman Empire, the city was a resort, as the hot mineral springs of Hemma are located not far from it.. They exist even today. The water temperature in each spring reaches 55 degrees. Springs fill artificially created pools where you can swim.

The city of Umm al Jimal is very interesting. It is located just 10 km from the Syrian border. Translated from Arabic, the name of the city means “mother of the camel”. Once it was the main stopping point on the caravan route through the Syrian desert. Now Umm al-Jimal is a unique monument of ancient civilizations. The city is built of black basalt, here you can see the ruins of numerous stone buildings, some of which date back to the 2nd century BC. e., the remains of churches, Roman barracks and defensive complexes.

What to See in Jordan