The old piece of land, with a rich and turbulent past, bears the mark of diverse cultures, religions and political systems through its wealth of several historical places. Amman, its capital, is home to buildings that were built during the stone age. Some of the other historical places to visit in Jordan are Moab, Gilead and Edom and of course Petra, which was described as a fairy tale city, all pink and nice by Gertrude Bell, a British traveler.
These historical places do offer a unique insight into what was once said to be the country’s past. With a lot to discover, pack those bags and dash to Jordan right away.
12 Historical Places In Jordan That Will Leave You Awe- Struck
Traveling to the middle east for several travelers is said to be a bit of a tease and tantalizing. There is a debate that has been going on for quite some time as to whether Jordan can be called a westernized country or a country with a legacy of an old Hashemite kingdom.
A blend of ultra-modern and absolute ancients creates a vibrant collage, something that makes exploring Jordan worth it. Paying homage to the ancient seats of power is something that should be added to the list of things to do. Speaking of the ancients, Petra is one of the many historical places in Jordan, every tourist should add to their list.
- Umm Qays
- Ajlun Castle
- Fortress of Umm Ar-Rasas
- Pella (Tabqit Fahl)
- Qasr Kharana
- Roman Amphitheater, Amman
- Qasr Al-Abd
Celebrated as the “Pompeii of the east” Jerash is still intact thanks to its stunning untouched architecture, that is said to be cursed. It is said that Jerash flaunts some of the most breathtaking Roman ruins outside of Italy. Every year, tourists from around the world come to explore a hippodrome, trading stalls, domiciles, temples to Zeus and Artemis, early churches, water and sewage systems, two theatres, a mosque, a colonnade, a cardo. A blend of Greco- Roman and Levantine cultures are discovered at Jerash.
With such rich diversity, the Nymphaeum in Jordan is absolutely beauteous. Covered in ornate carvings with lion head fountains, the nymphs were constructed in 190AD. So, it is safe to say Jerash is one of the best historical places to visit in Jordan.
Attractions: Hippodrome, trading stalls, domiciles, temples to Zeus and Artemis
The Nomadic Kingdom of the Nabateans, Petra, is carved out of sandstone rocks and cliffs, inhabited from prehistoric times. From being an unknown city, Jordan’s historical site, Petra has achieved its claim to fame for its architecture. Over the years, the city has grown as a place of trade with a large population and has become a popular holiday destination. The untouched beauty of Petra is seen in the temples and tombs that emerge from rocks and cliffs. Tourists exploring the city will get a glimpse of the remains of the Roman era and Byzantine church home to mosaics.
Sextius Florentinus’, once the Roman Governor's tomb, Roman palace and remains of the main colonnaded road are seen. With so much to discover, Petra should be on everyone’s list of places to visit in Jordan.
Attractions: Temples and Tombs
3. Umm Qais
The once successful Roman city of Gadara, Umm Qais, is where the stunning ruins attract tourists each year from around the world. To absorb the stunning views of the Jordan Valley, Umm Qais is the ideal destination to explore found sitting on the hilltop. The Roman sites that include two old theatres are worth the visit and of course, tucking into some of the finest cuisines served at the restaurants close by is a must.
Here’s something interesting people should know about Umm Qais: it was once home to Gadara, found sitting between Syria and Palestine. The breathtaking historical site in Jordan become a holiday resort for the Romans, which went on to attract scholars, writers and artists.
Location: Northern Jordan
Attractions: Two Old Theatres, Restaurants
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Known for its artistic beauty, Madaba is home to some of the most stunning mosaics from the Byzantine Empire. The ambiance of a large market town ideal for shopping and dining is one of the many features that attract people from around the world. St. George’s church, home to the biggest mosaic map in the world is a stunning historical place in Amman, rediscovered in 1884.
There is so much more to the historical place people have yet to explore like the museums home to all kinds of mosaic masterpieces. So, are you eager and excited to explore Madaba? Well, pack those bags and have the best time of your life.
Attractions: St. George’s Church, Mosaic Masterpieces
5. Ajlun Castle
Have you heard of the Ajlun castle in Jordan? Well, here’s a sneak peek into its history. Built by Izz al- Din Usama, Ajlun Castle was once a fortress created to instill fear in the hearts of the Franks. Visitors from around the world explore the castle for its siege warfare and have often travelled back in time and learnt about the destructive periods in the region’s history.
Found inside the castle, the Ajlun Archeological Museum is one of the places to visit in Amman, for its pottery, ceramics, displays and artefacts. The castle is a stunning and unique place to visit at least once while on vacation.
Location: Ajloun, Jordan
Attractions: Pottery, ceramics, displays and artefacts
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6. Shobak Castle
As a form of defense, Shobak castle was built in 1115 by King Baldwin 1, a magical place that transports people into a world away from home. Churches, historic ruins and a secret passageway going to a stunning spring are worth exploring. Flaunting a watchtower, catacombs and several Christian carvings and Islamic tablets, the castle is one of the mystical places to visit in Petra.
Known as Mont Real, the castle means the Fortress of the royal mount, has stood the test of time until 1189 when it was destroyed by Salahuddin Al-Ayyoubi, the first sultan of Egypt and Syria. It is one of the most famous historical places in Jordan, every tourist should put on their list of places to discover.
Location: GHJ6+H84, Shobak, Jordan
Attractions: Watchtower, catacombs and Christian carvings
7. Fortress of Umm Ar-Rasas
The collection of mosaics and glorious Church of St. Stephen, Umm Ar- Rasas was fortified by the Roman. The excavation of the site began only in 1986 and it was said it was yet to be discovered. Tourists will get to see the ruins of several churches, towers and stunning mosaics. This is one most famous monuments in Jordan to have been mentioned in the book of Jeremiah. What are you waiting for?
It is one of the most unique places that tells a tale of its past, no one would have heard or even about in books.
Location: Umm Ar-Rasas, Jordan
Attractions: Ruins of churches, towers and stunning mosaics
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Constructed on top of a ridge, Karak is a stunning example of military architecture, separated from the old fortified town by a deep moat. It was once home to the ancient Kingdom of Moab around 9th century B.C. The castle does have a rich history that is waiting to be discovered and narrated to those visiting for the first time. So, back in the day, the king of Israel and his allies besieged Kir Moab as Karak but King Mesha’s sacrifice of his first-born son averted the defeat.
Tourists visiting the castle often admire the architecture weaved into the castle by the Crusaders back in the 12th century A.D. Passageways, dungeons, kitchens and a chapel are spilt over seven levels of the castle. So, with so much to see, ensure the castle is on your list of things to do in Amman.
Attractions: Military architecture
9. Pella (Tabqit Fahl)
It would be incomplete without visiting Pella, the archaeological wonder of Pella, for its collection of 6000-year-old ruins. The jaw dropping archaeological site of Pella didn’t prosper till it was occupied by the Greek and Romans. Conquered by Pompey in 63 BC, Pella formed the Roman Decapolis League. What makes it even more interesting is knowing that since the Stone Age it was inhabited by humans.
Speaking of ruins, tourists will get to see a Roman bath and a fountain house along with a mosque and courtyard. The ruins of churches and houses from the Byzantine era are worth exploring at Pella.
Location: Northwest of Jordan
Attractions: Roman Bath, Fountain House, Mosque and Courtyard
10. Qasr Kharana
The poignant desert castle is often mistaken for a large-scale movie set, founded within the eastern desert in Jordan. Despite portraying the look of a castle, there is no proof of it being able to defend its inhabitants. With so much evidence, there is a room in the castle with an inscription suggesting it was built in the 7th century. Historians have suggested it was a meeting point for the Umayyad caliphs and Bedouin leaders.
With 60 rooms at the castle, can you imagine what they could be possibly used for? The long rooms on either side are used as stables and there is a basin in the courtyard used for collecting rainwater.
Location: PFH7+H47, Amman Governorate, Jordan
Attractions: Inscriptions on the wall
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11. Roman Amphitheater, Amman
The stunning monument of Old Philadelphia, the Roman Amphitheater was once upon a time a part of the Roman Decapolis. It was built during the 2nd century AD, under the Antonine emperors. Performances, concerts and events are hosted at the theatre.
The Folklore Museum and Museum of Popular Traditions are heritage museums people should explore, on both sides of the stage. The centerpiece of the city is said to seat up to 6,000 people and keeps the sun off the spectators. It is safe to say that people should visit this historical site in Amman. So, what are you waiting for?
Location: Taha Al-Hashemi St., Amman, Jordan
Attractions: The Folklore Museum and Museum of Popular Traditions
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12. Qasr Al-Abd
Dating back to even before the Roman empire, the Qasr Al- Abd is a stunning castle ruin that is about 2200 years old. Animal cravings like lions, leopard fountains and eagles are engraved on the walls of the two-story building. Believed to have been by Tobiads, a powerful Jewish family, the castle offers a glimpse into the architecture and history of its time.
So, are you eager to go back in time and revisit ancient history? It is one of the most famous landmarks in Jordan that should be on everyone’s list of places to visit.
Location: WQ72+4QW, Amman, Jordan
Attractions: Animal Cravings
History has always been a fascination, especially when it comes to discovering the past of a new place. It takes people back in time and allows them to image what life would have been. Speaking of history, the historical places in Jordan will take you on a journey of the past. Jordan does have a rich past that is waiting to explored. So, go ahead, pack those bags and explore the long-lost history.
Are you planning a trip to Jordan? Home to some of the most stunning historical places, Jordan should be on everyone’s list of places to visit. So, when planning a trip, avail the Jordan holiday packages.
March- May and September- November are the best months to visit Jordan, as the weather is pleasant. Jordan has a lot to offer its tourists.
People can spend at least 1 week in Jordan exploring every corner of the country. It offers a sneak peek into its past and flaunts its present.
Jerash, Petra, Umm Qays, Madaba, Ajlun Castle, Showbak, Fortress of Umm Ar-Rasas, Karak, Pella (Tabqit Fahl), Qasr Kharana and Roman Amphitheater are some of the historical places to visit in Jordan.
Pottery, ceramics, displays and artefacts are some of the attractions people can discover at Ajlun Castle.
Hippodrome, trading stalls, domiciles, temples to Zeus and Artemis are some of the attractions in Jerash. Celebrated as the “Pompeii of the east” Jerash is still intact thanks to its stunning untouched architecture, that is said to be cursed.
Qasr Al- Abd is a stunning castle ruin that is about 2200 years old. Animal cravings like lions, leopard fountains and eagles are engraved on the walls of the two-story building.
Watchtower, catacombs and Christian carvings are some of the attractions in Shobak castle. Shobak castle was built in 1115 by King Baldwin 1, a magical place that transports people into a world away from home.
Home to a million archaeological, religious and tourist sights, Jordan is known for its rich history and culture.