Day: 15 May 2024

Qasrs or Desert Castles

The desert castles or qasrs are often called Umayyad desert castles, since the vast majority of these fortified palaces or castles were built by the Umayyad Dynasty (between 661 and 750 AD). The desert castles are scattered over the semi-arid regions of north-eastern Jordan, our last region in Jordan to explore. Qasr Amra was built between 723 and 743, by Walid Ibn Yazid, the future Umayyad caliph …

Qasrs or Desert Castles Read More »

Mother of Camels

Umm Al-Jimal, meaning Mother of Camels, is a town just 10km from the Syrian border. We went there for the ruins of a Byzantine and early Islamic town, as well as an older Roman village, built from black Basalt rocks. A number of Greek and Nabataean inscriptions found on the site date the village to the first century AD as a rural suburb …

Mother of Camels Read More »

Ajloun Castle and Forest

In the north of Jordan, we visited one more castle, this time not built by the Crusaders but by Izz al-Din Usama, a general in the army of Saladin in the 12th century at the site of an old monastery. The castle controlled traffic along the road connecting Damascus and Egypt. The fortress marks the furthest limit of Frankish incursions …

Ajloun Castle and Forest Read More »

Jerash

The earliest evidence of settlement in Jerash is from the Neolithic age, as human remains dating to around 7500 BC were uncovered in the area. The town flourished during the Greek, Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods until the earthquake from 749, which destroyed large parts of Jerash or ancient Gerasa. Today, it is one of the best preserved …

Jerash Read More »