Jordan mysterious and multicast. Natural attractions and artifacts of different eras and crops are addressed here in a bright mosaic, the ancient legends are fond of traffic police, and the vintage fortresses and museum collections are stored the secrets of ancient country. "My Planet" is divided by some of them.
Palace in Oasis: Azarak
In Jordan, about 30 palaces and desert castles have been preserved, and one of the largest – Azarak – grew up in a blooming oasis. His name translated from Arabic means "blue": there was a lot of water in this area, trading paths were held here and Bedouins stopped. Palace Azarak built at the turn of the III-IV centuries from massive basalt blocks. This material was used not only for the construction of walls and towers – here you can still see monolithic stone doors on the stone loops. The courtyard, in the center of which is a small mosque, is surrounded by an 80-meter wall with narrow towers in every corner. In the vicinity of the Palace, Azrak National Park with freshwater lake spread. In the spring, more than 2000 types of colors flourishes in the oasis, and in the rainy season on the shores of the reservoir there are many rare animals and birds.
The Treasures of the Dead Sea: Museum of the Low Point of Earth
The youngest landmark of ancient country – Museum of the lowest point of our planet. It opened in 2013 on the southern shore of the Dead Sea, in the village of Safi – at a mark of 405 m below the world’s ocean level. Exhibits are much older than the museum itself – many of them are 4500 years. Ceramics of the Bronze Age, tombstones with ancient inscriptions, fragments of Greek and Roman clothing, weapons and household items – these and other archaeological finds tell the history of the coast of the Dead Sea from the Stone Age to this day.
Black City: Gadar
In the north-west of Jordan, right at the border with Israel and Syria once stood fortified antique city of Gadar. One of the most important centers of Greek culture existed for more than 1000 years, and in the VIII century was destroyed by an earthquake. But today on the high hill of Umm-Kais, you can see the architectural structures of the ancient Gadara: underground mausoleum, two amphitheater, double colonnade of the main street, bathing, city gates and Roman aqueduct. The Ruins of the Byzantine Church of the VI century are preserved with octagonal basalt columns and carved sarcophagi. Many city buildings were built from basalt, so Ghadara is often called a black city. Umm-Kais – also a great observation deck: from the hill overlooks the valley of the Jordan River, the Golan Heights and the Galilee Sea, and even a snowy peak of the Lebanese Mount Hermon is visible in clear weather.
Antiquity in detail: Museum Umm-Kais
Black city is not only a reserve of Greek and Roman architecture: for full immersion to the world of antique harmony, you need to look at the Archaeological Museum of Umm-Kais. It is located in the ancient Ottoman mansion – Beit Ar-Russan. The pride of the museum is marble sculptures of girls and athletes, Zeus and Artemis, as well as the famous statue of sitting Tikh – ancient Greek Goddess of good luck and fate. No less valuable exhibits – samples of the Byzantine mosaic. And ceramics, coins, minted in Gadar, and other household items will tell all about the everyday life of the ancient city. Internal courtyard Mansion – Open-air Museum: In a small garden, basalt columns, sarcophages, capitals and other fragments of architectural structures.
Vintage crafts: Museum of the city of As-Salt
There are in Jordan and White City – As-Salt. In the times of the Ottoman Empire, he was the administrative center of the region, but then I gave this role to Amman, and as a result I escaped modernization and retained the historical flavor. Picturesque streets and houses from white stone remind of the distant past, and in one of the luxurious Ottoman mansions there is an archaeological museum. Here are widely represented samples of traditional crafts of the Valley of the Jordan River: Glass and Ceramics, Olive and Pearl Products, Silver Decorations and National Costumes. And the brightest exhibits are a large collection of Palestinian embroidery and Bedouin carpets. Ancient crafts alive and in our time: Motley carpets adorn the walls of urban cafes, and see the process of making ceramics, local fabrics and hand embroidery in the school of national fishery.
Citadel Crusaders: Shabac
The first castle of the Crusaders in Transiordania was the majestic Shabac – it was built on this land 900 years ago. In the construction of the castle, the first king of the Jerusalem kingdom took part, so the initial Crusaders called him Montreal ("Royal Mountain"). Despite its solid age, Shobc still gives the impression of an impregnable stronghold: the grandiose fortress complex is surrounded by a triple stone wall, and getting inside through the huge gate. In the territory of the castle, the ancient church and the chapel of the Crusaders are preserved. Walls and towers of the citadel are decorated with carved panels with Arab inscriptions – the names of those who owned the fortress after the Crusaders. Long vaulted corridors and secret underground strokes and to this day stored the spirit of the Middle Ages.
Ghost of the ancient city: Umm Al-Jiml
In the northeast of Jordan, you can see a fantastic spectacle: on the border of the black basalt desert there is another black city – Umm al-Jiml. The unique monument of ancient civilizations appeared here in the Romans, in the II century BC. NS. – Then two- and three-story basalt buildings, churches, barracks, defensive complexes were built,. The Byzantine Empire resembles an impressive cathedral and 14 other temples, and most of the buildings are residential buildings and shopping shops. Someone preserved ruins of urban gates and fragments of the urban wall. Another local attraction – water reservoirs: there were no sources and wells and water collected in these tanks in the rainy season.
Desert Mystery: Khagranah Palace
The most photographic palace of the desert and the earliest sample of Islamic architecture – Kharranakh. Historians still guess what the true purpose of this building was: military fortress, caravan shed or palace-harem. Be that as it may, Khakrahran have been well preserved and remains one of the most visited places – it is located a short drive from Amman. The facade of the palace is discreet and laconic: a compact square building with semicircular corner towers and arched entrance is built from limestone blocks, and only frieze is decorated with stone and brick ornament. The harsh walls form a cozy inner courtyard, in the center of which is a water tank, and 60 rooms with elegant architectural decor resemble a large harem. Thanks to the arched arches, the straight sun rays do not fall inside, so mysterious twilight and coolness reign in the palace.
Mosaic World: Church of the Apostles in Madab
Jordanian Madabu does not accidentally call the city Mosaic – Multicolored works of art here everywhere: in an archaeological park, temples, public buildings and urban villas. The mosaic of the Church of the Apostles is the whole world: the full-water sea, inhabited by fish and marine animals, gardens, seized by grape vines and sprayed poppies, gazelles and antelopes, pheasants and ducks, shepherds and hunters. And opposite the entrance to the temple in the floor mounted mosaic, found in one of the villas of Madaba. This is a kind of illustration to Homer’s "Iliad": Achilles, Patrole and Brispeid are depicted on panels. For 1500 years, mosaic, of course, swelling, but it is worth incorporing the imagination – and through the dust of the centuries again commemorate the ancients, the bright colors will bloom, the motley birds will be revived.
Biblical legends: Macheron Fortress
The Middle East – the cradle of three world religions at once, and in Jordan you can visit several biblical seats: the hill of the prophet Elijah, Mount Nevo, the Baptism of Jesus Christ on the Jordan River and the legendary fortress Maheron 50 km from Madaba. One of the most gloomy pages of biblical history is connected with Maheron – it is believed that in the dungeons of the castle of King Herod, and then executed John the Baptist. Ancient Jewish fortress grew literally from the cliff, and later Herod the Great surrounded the top of the hill with a powerful wall with corner towers. Now only a few rooms remain from the luxurious palace: a paved courtyard, a bath with mosaic floors, an area surrounded by indoor colonnade, and the refectory – suggest that it was here that performed his fatal dance Salome. And the grooves on the northern slope of the hill lead to the cave, which became the prison of John the Baptist.
Information for travelers
You can see all this and much more you can with the Jordan Pass card – in a single entrance ticket included free visit to 40 main attractions of the country. In addition, Jordan Pass owners do not need to pay visa fees upon receipt of a Jordanian visa at the airport. So you save three times: no need to pay for the entrance, spend time in line at the box office and buy a guide – information support is carried out using Jordan Pass, all brochures will be in your smartphone.