The Amman Citadel – One of Jordan’s Most Promising Archeological Discoveries

The Amman Citadel is located on one of Amman’s seven mounts (jabals) and is today one of the most visited Amman Tourist Attractions. There is uncertainty regarding the exact age of the site, but excavations have revealed that the site was occupied by humans as far back as 1650 BC to 1550 BC which was the Middle Bronze Age.

As such, the Amman Citadel is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited areas.

Temple of Hercules and the hand at the Amman Citadel, Jordan

Temple of Hercules and the Hand of Hercules at the Amman Citadel, Jordan.

Because the area has been occupied and inhabited by several different civilizations, the Amman Citadel, as well as the surrounding area, has proven to be an unrivaled archeological treasure trove. In fact, research in the area has been ongoing ever since 1920.

For the average visitor, the most prominent attractions at Amman Citadel are the Temple of Hercules; an Umayyad Palace, and a Byzantine Church.

The Amman Citadel – A Brief History

Roman Corinthian columns of the Hercules Temple at Citadel Hill, Amman

Roman Corinthian columns of the Hercules Temple at Citadel Hill, Amman.

The oldest discovery at the Amman Citadel is a tomb which contained various bits of pottery and some scarab seals dating back to the Middle Bronze Age, sometime between 1650 BC and 1550 BC.

The citadel’s inscription also reveals that he citadel was called Rabbath Ammon during the Iron Age.

During the years that followed, the citadel and the surrounding area was occupied and inhabited by the Assyrians; the Babylonians, and then the Persians.

In 331 BC, the Amman Citadel was conquered by the Greeks who then changed the name to Philadelphia. Archeological discoveries have revealed that it remained under Greek control for roughly 300 years, before it fell to the Romans in about 30 BC.

Almost 700 years later, in 661 AD, the area was conquered by the Muslims.

Interestingly, the citadel appears to have lost a lot of its importance during the 13th century while under Ayyubid rule. Apart from one watchtower, not much else was added during this period.

Major Features to Look Out For

While the Amman Citadel has plenty to see, there are a few major features which certainly stand out.

These are the Temple of Hercules which dates back to the 2nd century when the citadel was occupied by the Romans, and an Umayyad Palace complex which dates back to around 661 AD.

The site is also home to the ruins of an old Byzantine church and a huge cistern which was once used for water collection purposes.

The Amman Citadel as it stands today is also home to the Jordan Archeological Museum which is also definitely worth visiting.

Visiting Amman Citadel

Amman cityscape at sunset seen from the citadel

Amman cityscape at sunset seen from the citadel.

At Egypt Tours Plus, not all of our Jordan travel packages or our Egypt and Jordan combination tours include a visit to the Amman Citadel.

However, because our tours packages can be customized and tailored to meet the exact requirements of our clients, this wonderful attraction can easily be added to any of our tour itineraries if need be.

The Amman Citadel is conveniently located, it is easily accessible, and has a truly remarkable history. After all, it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas on earth.

If you are going to be in Amman for a few days, then we would definitely recommend a visit to this incredible site.

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