If you wish to visit the archaeological sites in Amman, then you have to visit Jabal Al Qalaa!
It's considered one of the seven mountains of Amman, Ancient Ammonites took that site to be the base of their rule over the city and later so did the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines who occupied the city until the Islamic Conquest in the seventh century. After that, the Umayyad palace was built on top of the mountain.
The mountains stand 800-meter-high above sea level and are considered one of the most important tourist attractions in Jordan. Musical concerts and events are held on that location as its considered one of the major event venues in the city due to its location, overlooking most areas of the capital Amman, especially downtown.
The site includes ruins of the ancient capital city of the Ammonites which dates back to the bronze age. Ruins of their castles are still visible, and you can see the walls and the wells carved into the limestone.
Jabal Al Qalaa site includes:
1 – Important military and strategic advantages as it was surrounded by a high wall which held 10 meters high watchtowers.
2 –The remaining ruins are triangular shaped and include a tower and Corinthian Structure with little of it left other than the foundations and some broken columns.
Modern excavations suggest that the ruins date back to the Bronze, Hellenistic, Roman, and Umayyad ages.
3 – Temple of Hercules which was built by the Roman Emperor Aurelius
And had a giant statue of Hercules at its entrance. Inscriptions found in the site suggest that it was built in 161 AD. All that is left of the temple is its façade which is made up of six gigantic columns.
4 – Byzantine Church ruins, which dates back to the 4th century AD.
5 – The Umayyad Palace and the stone-carved pool, dating back to the Umayyad age.
6 – The Jordanian Archaeological Museum which was built in 1951 as a witness to the ancient civilizations that passed through the area. The museum also shows the historical stages of development that Jordan went through. It is considered as one of the most important museums in the regions with some of its artifacts dating back to the ancient stone age, the Roman age, and the Umayyad age as well as a collection of human form statues dating back to the year 8000 BC. The museum also has the Dead Sea Scripts which are the oldest scripts from the Torah. These scripts were discovered by coincidence inside clay jars in one of the caves North West of the Dead Sea.
The best activities in Jabal Al Qalaa include:
- Walking through the ruins of the Temple of Hercules which includes the gigantic columns and the giant hand, which probably belonged to Hercules’s statue.
- Visiting the luxurious Umayyad Palace which was built in the first half of the 8th century AD. You can take lovely photos of its giant gate.
- Passing by the Qalaa museum which has pottery and artifacts dating back to ancient ages. It’s right across from the Umayyad palace.
- Taking photos inside the amazing ancient passages and under the giant arches and carved gates scattered all around the site.
- Strolling through the fabulous town’s streets nearby and shop for souvenirs or have a meal in one of its lovely traditional restaurants.
- Enjoying concerts for famous Arab and foreign musicians and singers
Below is "Jabal Al-Qal'a Quilling artwork:
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