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Jordan: Ajlun, Amman, Aqaba, Bethany Beyond the Jordan, Dead Sea, Jerash, Karak, Madaba, Mount Nebo, Pella & Umm Qays, Petra, Wadi Rum
Amman, Jordan: Changing for the better
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Amman, the capital of Jordan is a fascinating city of contrasts, a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. In the commercial heart of the city, ultra modern buildings and malls rub shoulders with traditional coffee shops and artisans’ workshops.
Due to the city’s modern-day prosperity and temperate climate, almost half of Jordan’s population is concentrated in the Amman area. The residential suburbs consist of mainly tree-lined streets and avenues flanked by uniformly white houses. The downtown area is much older and is home to more traditional smaller businesses.
We left for Amman after enjoying our breakfast at Hotel Movenpick at Dead Sea. The drive is just an hour. My flight home was scheduled at 8PM. We had about 5 hours on hand to tour the city.
The name Amman has been changed a couple of times in its deep rooted history. The emerging settlement was named Rabbath Ammon and centered here during the Ammonite Period – Iron Age (1200 BC - 539 BC). The Capital was built in the classical style and was named Philadelphia after the Ptolemic ruler of Egypt King Ptolemy II Pheladelphus. With the establishment of Umayyad Caliphate (661 AD - 750 AD), the government center of the immense el-Belga district was here and named Amman.
We preferred driving around the city exploring the neighbourhood with a brief stop at King Abdulla I Mosque and the Parliament. We wanted to save time to be able to spend a few hours at the Citadel.
Located on a mountain, Citadel is a site of ancient Rabbath-Ammon and excavations there have revealed numerous Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic remains. It offers visitors a perspective of the city’s incredible history and provides stunning views of the entire area. The Citadel is home to Temple of Hercules, Byzantine Church, Mosque, Palace Entrance and Palace Dome. A museum up there is a must visit. Exhibits take you back to the Neolithic Period.
For lunch we visited Tawaheen Al Hawa an authentic and arguably the best Lebanese restaurant in Amman. We opted for the set meal which meant dish after dish of salads, hummus, pita bread, BBQ and freshly cut fruit.
For the past 6 days we had enough of archeology. For a change we thought of spending the last two hours on hand in Jordan in exploring a shopping mall. Jordan has many. We walked into one of them. At 5 PM we left for the airport well in time to check in for our flight back home.
Thus ending a fascinating journey into an era gone by.
Amman Image Gallery Photo viewer
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