Amman, the modern and ancient capital of Jordan, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. In this city the modern buildings mix with the remnants of the ancient civilizations. The abundance of gleaming white houses, kebab stalls with roasted meat, and small cafes where you can drink strong Arabic coffee, enchant you with a mood straight out of a thousand and one nights.
View of the capital of Jordan
The capital of Jordan was mentioned in the Old Testament as Rabbath-Ammon, known as the capital of the Ammonites, it was also referred to as the “City of Water”.
In the Greco-Roman period in the 3rd century BC, the city of Philadelphia (Greek for “The brotherhood love“) Renamed after the Ptolemaic ruler Philadelphus (283-246 BC).
Amman city tour
The city later came under Seleucid as well as Nabataean rule until the Roman general Pompey annexed Syria and made Philadelphia part of the Decapolis League – a loose alliance of ten free city-states, bound by powerful commercial, political, and cultural interests under total allegiance to Rome.
Under the influence of Roman culture, Philadelphia was generally reconstructed in a grand Roman style with colonnades, baths, an amphitheater and impressive public buildings.
Recent excavations show houses and towers that were believed to have been built in the Stone Age
During the Byzantine period, Philadelphia was the seat of a Christian bishop and several churches were built as a result. The city had receded somewhat by the year 635 AD. As Islam spread north from the Arabian Peninsula, the country became part of its domain. His original name Ammon or Amman was returned to him.
Abu Darwish Mosque in the capital of Jordan
The modern history of the capital of Jordan began in the late 19th century when the Ottomans relocated a colony of Circassian emigrants in 1878. When the East Bank state was established and relocated by the Arab Revolt, Emir Abdullah ibn Al-Hussein founder of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan made Amman its capital in 1921. Since then, the capital of Jordan has rapidly evolved into a modern and metropolis of transformed well over two million people.
Amman – a diverse metropolis
Amman is a city with different faces. In east Amman, conservative Islamic ideals rule over the locals just steps away from Palestinian refugee camps, while western Amman seems like a completely different world – with its trendy cafes, eclectic art galleries, leafy neighborhoods and world-class restaurants. The true character of the Jordanian capital can only be understood after visiting the two parts.
New York’s Fifth Avenue and Paris’s Champs Elysees may be more famous than Amman’s Rainbow Street, but this street is no less glamorous. The miles of paved strip stretches through the colorful and multiethnic cosmopolitan center of Jabal Amman. There, visitors to Joradnien can enjoy the most exclusive and exciting boutiques, night clubs, cafes and restaurants.
A round trip from Amman
The thriving neighborhood’s back streets are home to a number of cultural institutions, including the Royal Film Commission and the Wild Jordan environmental agency. This is where the urban cultures merge with the spirit of the Arab soul.
Umbrellas hanging over a narrow staircase
Begin your exploration where American fast food chains compete with local businesses and where neon lights glow day and night. Skip the western imports and head to one of the local cafes for a thirst-quenching jasmine tea or a strong coffee instead. Get your drink to go, then hike to the top of Rainbow Street for one of the best panoramic views in town.
On Friday the street is taken over by the Souk Jara market. Local artisans and artists sell their latest jewelry, wood carvings, and paintings from the makeshift stalls, and the street has an almost carnival-like feel to it.
In the middle of this modern neighborhood lies the Roman Forum, a relic of the Jordan’s long history. Built in 190, the square was one of Rome’s imperial largest public squares. Today a series of pillars is all that remains, but it’s still worth a visit to go under the rubble.
Eastern Amman has its own treasures, and the most impressive is the Roman Citadel. The ancient columns, stairs, and arches that remain on the site are evidence of the capital’s claim to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The nearby honeycomb-colored Temple of Hercules was built under Marcus Aurelius in AD 162 and offers visitors another excellent view of the city.
Roman theater in Amman