Desert Castle

Jordan Tour

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Jordan’s desert castles, beautiful examples of both early Islamic art and architecture, Jordan Tour

it stands testament to a fascinating era in the country’s rich history. Jordan Tour

Their fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings, and illustrations,

inspired by the best in Persian and Graeco-Roman traditions, tell countless stories of life as it was during the 8th century.

let’s introduce the most common deserts castle in Jordan:

1. Qasr al-Kharaneh

is one of the best-known of the desert castles located in present-day eastern Jordan, about 60 kilometers (37 mi) east of Amman and relatively close to the border with Saudi Arabia.

It is believed to have been built sometime before the early 8th century AD one of the earliest examples of Islamic architecture in the region.

It remains very well preserved since it is located just off a major highway and is within a short drive of Amman, become one of the most visited of the desert castles.

Archaeologist Stephen Urice wrote his doctoral dissertation, later published as a book, on Qasr Kharana, based on his work restoring the building in the late 1970s.

The castle is today under the jurisdiction of the Jordanian Ministry of Antiquities.

The kingdom’s Ministry of Tourism controls access to the site via the new visitor’s center,

charging an admission fee of JD 2 to the site during daylight hours.

A Bedouin merchant is also allowed to sell handcrafts and drinks in the parking lot, as at many other Jordanian tourist sites.


2.Quseir Amra

is the best-known of the desert castles located in present-day eastern Jordan roughly 85 kilometers (53 mi) from Amman.

It was built early in the 8th century, sometime between 723 and 743, by Walid Ibn Yazid,

considered one of the most important examples of early Islamic art and architecture.

It is most notable for the frescoes that remain on the ceilings inside,

which depict, among others, a group of rulers, hunting,  women and, above one bath chamber,

an accurate representation of the zodiac. These have led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

one of five in the country. That status, and its location along Jordan’s major east-west highway,

relatively close to Amman, have made it a frequent tourist destination.

this exceptionally well-preserved desert castle was both a fortress with a garrison and a residence of the Umayyad caliphs.

The most outstanding features of this small pleasure palace are the reception hall and the hammam,

both richly decorated with figurative murals that reflect the secular art of the time.


3. Azraq Castle

is a large fortress located in present-day eastern Jordan It is one of the desert castles,

located on the outskirts of present-day Azraq, roughly 100 km (62 mi) east of Amman.

Its strategic value came from the nearby oasis the only water source in a vast desert region

The settlement was known in antiquity as Basie and the Romans were the first to make military use of the site

and later an early mosque was built in the middle.

It did not assume its present form until an extensive renovation and expansion by the Ayyubids in the 13th century,

using locally quarried basalt which makes the castle darker than most other buildings in the area.

Later, it would be used by the Ottoman armies during that empire’s hegemony over the region.

During the Arab Revolt, T.E. Lawrence based his operations here in 1917–18,

an experience he wrote about in his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

The connection to “Lawrence of Arabia” has been one of the castle’s major draws for tourists.


4. Al-Mshatta Palace

Jordan Tour

is the ruin of an Umayyad winter palace, probably commissioned by Caliph Al-Walid II during his brief reign (743-744).

The ruins are located approximately 30 km south of AmmanJordan, north of Queen Alia International Airport

and are part of a string of castles, palaces, and caravanserais known collectively in Jordan as the Desert Castles.

Though much of the ruins can still be found in situ, the most striking feature of the palace, its facade,

has been removed and is on display at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

The ruins of Qasr Mushatta consist of a square enclosure, surrounded by an outer wall comprising 25 towers.

Its internal space is divided into three equal longitudinal strips, of which just the central one was completed to some degree.

The palace is the largest of all the Umayyad palaces in Jordan.

Its formation is an audience hall, a small mosque, a throne room, and residences.

The complex was encircled with a large defense wall about 472 feet long on each side and many watchtowers.

Sadly only a little of it survived.


5. Qasr Al-Hallabat

Jordan Tour

is a town in the Zarqa Governorate of north-western Jordan, north-east of the capital of Amman

On the site of Qasr al-Hallabat, there was originally a Roman fort, built up from the beginning of the 2nd century AD

on a former Nabatean outpost, as part of the Limes Arabicus (the Arabian frontier).

Extended in 4th century AD, the fort abandone and then heavily damaged by the earthquake of 551 AD.

Afterwards, it  transforme into a monastery and a palace by the Ghassanids,

using older black basaltic rock blocks to expand the Roman remains.

Lastly, admire the decorated finesse of limestone walls (distinguished by their white color), carved niches,

reassembled arches and an elaborate porch with pillars.

This is the work of the Umayyads (AD 661–750) who revisited the structure under the reign

of the hedonistic caliph Walid II and transformed the modest fort into an imposing three-story complex with four large towers.


6. Azraq Wetland Reserve

Jordan Tour

is a nature reserve located near the town of Azraq in the eastern desert of Jordan An oasis for migratory birds,

Azraq was establishe in 1978 and covers 12 square kilometers (4.6 sq mi)

The natural springs dried up in 1992 and most migratory birds subsequently moved away from the area.

Artificial springs are maintaine today to keep the site a tourist destination.

The wetlands were created some 250,000 years ago as a result of being fed by aquifers that corresponded with geological changes.

Azraq has, since ancient times, been the crossroads of both human trade routes and bird migrations. Jordan Tour

Millions of cubic meters of freshwater attracted camels caravans carrying spices and herbs traveling

between Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Syria.


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