The enormous Crusader castle of Karak looms about 1000 meters above the Dead Sea Valley, a strategic link in the vital communication and protection system of castles that spread from Aqaba to Turkey. Karak was on the trading route between Egypt and Syria during biblical times, and later civilizations also recognized the advantages of the location.
Under the Caliph Omar's rule, the region of Jordan, Palestine, and Greater Syria were conquered. The Umayyad dynasty came into existence under Muawiya, who subsequently moved the capital north to Damascus. This shifted the power of the Islamic Empire north from the Hijaz. They became a part of the Umayyad Dynasty, the first of the Islamic dynasties.
On 7/7/2007, during a large ceremony in Lisbon, Petra was chosen as one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World" not just for the beauty of its rose-colored sandstone, not just for its setting in the midst of about 100 ruggedly dramatic square kilometers of Wadi Araba, but because this area is a living museum of 10,000 years of human history.
Part of the great beacon chain of Crusader fortresses, Shobak Castle is by far the most lonely. Built in 1115 AD by Baldwin I, who later built Karak, it was originally known as Mont Realis (Montreal) and was the first outpost of the kingdom of Jerusalem in the Crusader district of Outrejordain.
ELI' AH whose name means "my God is YAH (WEH) ," is one of the greatest Israelite prophets after Moses. He is frequently associated with the area of Transjordan and specifically the mountainous region of Ajloun to the north of the modern capital city of Amman. However, his ministry takes place, for the most part, in northern Israel and the area of what is now generally referred to as Samaria on the west bank of the Jordan River.
Jerash is one of the best-preserved Roman-era cities in the world. Located only 40 kilometers north of Amman, visitors today can trace the chariot ruts on the Cardo, admire the mosaics which were laid contemporaneously to those found in Madaba, and test the acoustics of the North and South Theatres. Inhabited since Neolithic times, Jerash came of age when Pompey swept through the region in 63 BC Jerash became one of the largest cities in the Decapolis federation.
Ajloun Castle is one of the greatest examples of Islamic Ayyubid military architecture. The first stage of construction began ca.1184 by General Izzidin Usama, nephew of Salahuddin AL Ayyoubi, who built it on a hill 1100 meters above sea level.
The initial structure consisted of a compact nucleus stronghold with four main towers. Subsequent enlargements followed immediately with the addition of two more towers between 1184 and 1193 AD.
Perhaps there is no other site in Jordan with the same span of history as Pella. Located at sea level about five kilometers from the Jordan Valley, the ruins of Pella portray a dramatic sweep of history, from the Bronze and Iron Ages through to the Umayyads and Mamluks. Evidence has been unearthed which indicates that while Pella has clearly been inhabited for at least the last 6000 years, the remains of a nearby Paleolithic community have been found which date back about 20,000 years. Not only is the sweep of history breathtaking, on a clear day it is possible to see all the way to Jerusalem and the hills of Haifa from some parts of the site.
Wadi Rum also known as The Valley of the Moon is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan 60 km (37 mi) to the east of Aqaba; it is the largest wadi in Jordan. The name Rum most likely comes from an Aramaic root meaning 'high' or 'elevated'.To reflect its proper Arabic pronunciation, archaeologists transcribe it as Wadi Ramm .
Jordan is blessed with an incredible natural diversity. Nowhere is this more visible than in the seven nature reserves of The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). From the desert oasis of the Azraq Wetland Reserve to the dramatic gorges and rivers of the Wadi Mujib Reserve, this system of reserves protects much of Jordan's most dramatic topography,
The Nabataeans were people of surprises. Not only did they create the amazing city of Petra, they built the northern city of Umm al-Jimal. Using the local rough black basalt instead of the soft rose sandstone of Wadi Musa, they created an eerie black city whose name, "Mother of Camels," indicates its function as a trading town, as it had precisely what caravans needed:
Sitting on a high promontory overlooking Lake Tiberias (The Sea of Galilee), the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley, Umm Qais is the most dramatically situated of Jordan's Roman era towns. It also is perhaps the most dramatic to look at, as its location in the northwest corner of the kingdom provided both white stone and black basalt as natural building materials.
Dead Sea Panoramic Complex is Perched at the edge of the Zara mountain range, between Ma’in hot springs and the Dead Sea basin, the Dead Sea Panoramic Complex offers some of the most spectacular views in the Kingdom. From the observation terrace you can absorb breathtaking vistas over the Jordan Rift Valley and Dead Sea basin and you can dine in style watching sunrise or sunset over the mountains of the Holy Land.
The modern village of Mukawer is located 30 km to the southwest of Madaba on the south bank of Wadi Zarqa Ma'in (see Appendix _The Waters of Callirhoe and Baarou/Baaras, below). It preserves the name of the Hnsmonean-Hcrodian fortress of Machaerus built on the southern border of Jewish Peraea against the Nabataeans. It also has remains from the Roman-Byzantine period.
Located in the Jordan Valley, part of the Great Rift Valley that runs from East Africa to Turkey, the Dead Sea is the remains of a giant inland lake. Lake Lisan was 200 kilometers long and approximately 200 meters deeper than the current level of the Dead Sea. As it contracted, it left Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, which at 408 meters below sea level is the lowest point on earth.
Umm al-Rasas(also spelled Umm ar-Rasas and Um er-Rasas) is an important archaeological site that was declared a World Heritage Site in 2004. Its structures date from the 3rd to 9th centuries and most have not yet been excavated. The site is especially known for its magnificent Byzantine mosaics, which have been uncovered in two churches dating from the 6th and 8th centuries,,
Amman, northern Jordan is home to other ancient cities of the Decapolis. These include Jarash (Gerasa), Umm Qays (Gadara), Tabaqat Fahl or Fihil (Pella), Bayt Ras (Capitolias), and Quwayliba (Abila). Jarash, straddling one of the ancient world's key trade routes, offers extensive and breathtaking ruins of colonnaded streets, arches, temples, and baths in a remarkable state of preservation and completeness.
Citadel Amman stands on one of the hills of the seven hills known as Jabel el Qala. Citadel, Amman is the site from where the sightseeing in Amman should be started. It is an important part of the Amman tour. Amman, the capital city of Jordan, has been the seat of various civilizations. And it is the home to the earliest development areas of the Middle Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Hellenistic Age, the late Roman Age, Neolithic period and the Arabian Islamic Age.
The seaside town of Aqaba is located on the Red Sea, within sight of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Jordan may have only 26 kilometers of coastline, but they are being put to good use, and below the sparkling Red Sea waters are some of the most fantastic dive sites in the world. This area has been of strategic interest since old times, and evidence of these civilizations is still visible,
JOSEPHUS the Jewish historian, as well as early Christian and later Muslim traditions associate Jabal Haroun ("Mountain of the Prophet Aaron - or Mount Hor") with the death and burial place of Aaron. Later, these traditions are attested in the Crusader period (nthrjth centuries AD) and up to recent times (Peterman and Schick 1996: 477)· (This site is located in Petra - Jordan ,
The fabled seven hills of Amman have given way to about twenty, and the magic of the city has grown as well. It is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world and has seen most of the many civilizations that have come through the area. While most visitors only see the modern Amman, one of the enchanting aspects of the city is how a visitor can turn a corner and find a Byzantine church ruin in a busy shopping district, or see the ruins of an Ammonite fortress tower from the windows of a hotel. Like its jebels, or hills, the fortunes of Amman have risen, fallen, and risen again.
The fertility of Madaba's plains have made it a strategic location for 3500 years. Fought over by many peoples during different times, it later became a Nabataean town. During the Byzantine era, the city became a bishopric and the mosaics, for which it became famous, were laid. Today, the city is still famous for mosaics, both historical and for its mosaic school, the only one of its kind in the Middle East.
Petra, originally known to the Nabataeans as Raqmu, is a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan. The city is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Another name for Petra is the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved. Petra is one of the New7Wonders of the World.
The third most holy site for Christians in the world, after the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of the Nativity, is the site of the baptism of Jesus Christ, known in Arabic as al-Maghtas. Excavations at Wadi Kharrar carried out after the 1994 peace treaty found evidence of a complex of churches, hermit cells and other buildings described in the writings of many pilgrims who have visited the site since the 2nd century AD. Now preserved as a tourist destination, al-Maghtas attracts tourists year-round.
DAYR 'AYN 'ABATA
God sent all the Prophets to their people with one message, to worship God alone and not to associate anything or anyone with Him. However, God sent Prophet Muhammad to all of humankind. Although his message was the same, he came with a new law, one to cover all people, in all places, at all times, even into a distant future continuing to the Day of Judgement.