“A modern city, built on the sands of time…”
Jordan’s capital Amman – is a city of contrasts, a mixture of ancient and modern, where many civilizations left their mark. Originally Amman was built on 7 hills, but now it spreads over at least 19 hills.
The oldest records refer to Amman as Rabbath-Ammon, the capital of the Ammonite Kingdom. Later on it was called Philadelphia and around 30 BC it became part of the Roman Empire. At that time it was a member of the Decapolis, the famous league of 10 cities that were bound by powerful commercial, political and cultural interests.
Nowadays you can still see many remains from ancient times. The Amman Citadel features a lovely view over the hills and valleys of the capital. You may visit the remains of the temple of Hercules, the Ummayyad Palace, a Byzantine Church and the Archaeological Museum. Down the hill you may visit the Roman Theatre which seats 6,000 and the nearby Grand Husseini Mosque.
Modern Amman also has a lot of entertainment to offer. In the commercial heart of the city, ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans’ workshops. Enjoy the taste of Arabic coffee and sweets. Taste the Arabic food in one of the nice restaurants, accompanied by traditional life music. Everywhere there is evidence of the city’s much older past.
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 elegant, almost uniformly white houses in accordance with a municipal law, which states that all buildings must be faced with local stone.
The downtown area is much older and more traditional with smaller businesses producing and selling everything from fabulous jewelry to everyday household items.
The people of Amman are multi-cultural, multi-denominational, well-educated and extremely hospitable. They welcome visitors and take pride in showing them around their fascinating and vibrant city.