City Breack - Amman
Amman is the Capital of 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.
In about 1200 BC, Amman became the capital of the Iron Age Ammonites, referred to as "Rabbath Ammon". The Ammonites, thought to be the ancestors of Lot from the Bible (the nephew of Abraham - "the father of all nations"), fought many battles with other regional leaders, and finally were defeated after a 10th century siege. Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians ruled the area over a period of several centuries until, in the 4th century BC, Ptolemy II rebuilt the city, renaming it Philadelphia for a former Ptolemaic leader.
Philadelphia, along with much of the region, was absorbed by Emperor Pompey into the Roman Empire in 63 BC. The city became part of the Decapolis and a prosperous trading center. It became known for its enlightened cultural centers and beautiful architecture. The 1700 meter-long walls of The Citadel, originally built during the Bronze Ages, were strengthened under the Romans and the Temple of Hercules was built during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD).
The Roman Theater (the Amphitheater), Odeon, Forum and Nymphaeum were built downtown by the Romans and these monuments represent a landmark in the Jordanian capital - Amman - of our days.
Seating 6000, the Amphitheater was built in the 2nd century AD.
The Odeon is a smaller, more intimate theater, seating about 600 people. It had a roof and was used most frequently for musical performances.
The Forum is the square between the two theaters, and was once one of the largest public squares in the Roman world.
The Nymphaeum was a two-story complex with fountains, mosaics and a swimming pool. It was dedicated to water nymphs.
Amman received a bishopric during the Byzantine period, and several churches were built. The ruins of three churches can be found on the Citadel, on Jabal Leweibdeh, and hidden away in the commercial center of Sweifieh.
During the Islamic caliphate in Damascus, Philadelphia changed its name to Amman and continued to flourish. The Umayyad Palace on the Citadel dates from 720 AD. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 749 AD and never rebuilt.
A very beautiful edifice from Amman it is also : The King Abdullah I Mosque (built between 1982 and 1989 | tourists are allowed to visit) which it is capped by a magnificent blue mosaic dome, beneath which 3,000 Muslims may offer prayer.
At times, walking through Amman can be like looking back wards through a tunnel, with so much history incorporated into so modern a city. But there is nothing more symbolic of Amman than sitting in one of the new cafes on Jabal Amman (one of the seven hills that originally made up Amman), listening to the call to prayer and looking out over to the Temple of Hercules on the Citadel.
Come to Amman, where fabulous restaurants beckon, the arts scene is vibrant and funky markets are the new meeting places. Come wander throught Jabal Amman or down town, and learn more about the history of this city, you might see ancient ruins from your window.