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Amman, the capital of Jordan

Amman in Jordan
The steeply hilly city of Amman

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.

The Citadel

Jordan Archaelogical Museum, AmmanThe 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.

Temple of Hercules, Amman Umayyad Palace, Amman

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.

Roman amphitheatre in Amman Amman's Roman Theatre

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