Called Philadephia in biblical
times, Amman is built on (at least) seven hills. 1.8 million people -
more than a quarter of the country's population - live here. It
has grown from a small town to its present size in just the last few decades,
swelled by an influx of Palestinean refugees .The refugee camps have
become a seemingly permanent part of the urban sprawl.
Amman is a modern city with a bustling night life and is internationally
and culturally diverse. Its main tourist attractions, however, are from
much earlier times.
fortification known as the Citadel, dating back to the bronze age, tops one of Amman's highest
hills and has stunning views across the city. The site, which has much
excavation still to do, includes a magnificent collonaded entrance to
the Roman Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace dating from 720AD
which includes a huge water reservoir showing how much effort went into
supplying the population of the Citadel..
Also on the site is the Jordan Archaelogical Museum (pictured left)
which contains many artifacts, including some of the Dead Sea Scrolls
- the ones on copper cylinders. Note that photography is not permitted
in the museum.
The Roman Theatre
Spectacularly well preserved, this huge 6000-seat amphitheatre is an
amazing sight and a must-see part of Amman. Climb to the top seats and the people in the stage area
look tiny - actually is the climb up is easy but coming down makes you
aware of just how steep the slope is. The picture on the left shows the
amphitheatre as seen from the Citadel (see above). Admission to the Roman Theatre
is free. Also on the site are two small museums which are of limited interest.