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Land of deep history

7 Feb 2021

One of the most favoured destinations in the Middle East, Jordan is a land steeped in history. It has been home to some of mankind’s earliest settlements and villages, harbouring hidden relics from the world’s great civilisations.

According to official information from the Jordan Tourism Board, as the crossroads of the Middle East, the lands of Jordan and Palestine have served as a strategic nexus, connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe. Since the dawn of civilization, Jordan’s geography has given it an important role as a conduit for trade and communications, connecting the orient with the West. 

From the enchanting starkness of Wadi Rum, to the restless city centre of urban Amman, and the majestic ruins of civilizations once forgotten, Jordan is a unique destination offering breathtaking sights, charming accommodations, and exquisite cuisine. 

Quietly becoming a premier destination within the region, Jordan has witnessed an emergence of luxury hotels in Amman, Petra, Aqaba and the Dead Sea. Whether you’re looking for the authentic backpacker experience, or the casual refinement of 5 star service, the Hashemite Kingdom is fit for both the aristocrat and the modest, the official JTB website says.

Jordan has three major physiographic regions (from east to west) – the desert, the uplands east of the Jordan River, and the Jordan Valley (the northwest portion of the great East African Rift System. The desert region is mostly within the Syrian Desert – an extension of the Arabian Desert – and occupies the eastern and southern parts of the country, comprising more than four-fifths of its territory. The Jordan Valley drops to about 430m below sea level at the Dead Sea – the lowest natural point on Earth’s surface.

The time difference between Oman and Jordan is about two hours – Jordan is two hours behind Oman – and the flight duration between the respective capitals, Muscat and Amman, is around three hours, 45 minutes.

The latest COVID-19 Travel Update, dated January 14, states that self quarantine will no longer be required for passengers arriving to Jordan. A valid PCR (negative) test is required that has been done within the past 72 hours, and another PCR mandatory test will be given at the airport for all arrivals above 5 years of age at their own expense, official sources said.

 

Popular attractions

 

Baptism site

Home to several biblical cities, the archaeological discoveries between the Jordan River and Tal al Kharrar have identified a site as the biblical ‘Bethany Beyond the Jordan’. The area is where John (the baptist) – was living when he baptised Jesus. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Baptism Site commission welcomes pilgrims from all around the world seeking spiritual connection to biblical times, a glimpse of history or a chance to be baptised where Jesus was so many years ago.

 

Petra

Petra, the world wonder, is without a doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2000 years ago. Although much has been written about Petra, nothing really prepares you for this amazing place. It has to be seen to be believed. 

To visit Petra during daylight is awe-inspiring but to experience it at night by the light of 1,800 candles is truly out-of-this-world! Walk through the Siq to the Treasury (Al-Khazneh) following a candle-lit path and enjoy the haunting music of the Bedouins at the Treasury.

 

The Jordan Museum

The Jordan Museum is located in the dynamic new downtown area of Ras al Ayn. Presenting the history and cultural heritage of Jordan in a series of beautifully designed galleries, The Jordan Museum serves as a comprehensive national centre for learning and knowledge that reflects Jordan’s history and culture, and presents in an engaging yet educational way the Kingdom’s historic, antique and heritage property as part of the ongoing story of Jordan’s past, present, and future.

The Royal Automobile Museum

The Royal Automobile Museum was founded in 2003 under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II. The Royal Automobile Museum showcases an important part of Jordan’s political history from an interesting perspective. The exhibits also reflect the history of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan through cars from the reign of King Abdullah I to the reign of King Abdullah II. More recently, it has included many non-Jordanian vehicles and bikes, such as a 19th-century bike, a Bugatti and other rare vehicles. One of the most important items of the museum is the Lincoln Cabri convertible, 1952 model, which was used by late King Hussein Bin Talal during his studies in England. 

 

Al Shobak Castle

The castle of Shobak, the ‘royal mountain’ Montreal or Mons Regalis as it used to be called, was the first crusader fortress in a line of strongholds in Oultrejourdain, the territory east of the river Jordan. Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem, ordered its construction in 1115 to control the caravan routes between Syria and Egypt. Perched on a conical hilltop, it had a well shaft inside that could be accessed via 375 steps down to the water vein, an unparalleled advantage during a siege.

Dead Sea Panorama

Perched atop the edge of the Zara Mountain range cliffs, the Panorama Dead Sea is a unique multi-purpose destination that is a ‘must visit’ when in Jordan. Whether you are coming to watch the unique jaw-dropping sunset the Panorama is famous for or enjoy a really good meal, the Panorama Dead Sea offers everything you need for a memorable experience

The Folklore Museum

The Folklore Museum of Costume and Fashion was established in the eastern part of the Roman Theatre in Amman, with the aim of collecting Jordanian and Palestinian folklore from all parts of Jordan to protect and preserve for future generations. The museum also aims to showcase Jordan’s popular heritage and present it to the whole world.

The Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum is a non-profit educational institution launched by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdallah in 2007. The Museum is spread over 8000sqm with more than over 180 indoor and outdoor interactive exhibits and educational facilities, such as the Library, Art Studio, Tinker Lab and Secret Garden, along with year-round educational programmes, events and shows.

Darat al Fanun

Jordanian, Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese families built the houses that form Darat al Funun. They are a living memory of the history of Jordan and the shared history of the Bilad al Sham. Darat al Funun today is an oasis for the arts overlooking the crowded downtown area of the old city of Amman. Along with visiting the Darat’s contemporary art exhibitions, many come to admire Amman’s traditional architecture, attend events in the archaeological site, read a book in their art library, or take a walk in the gardens.

King Hussein Mosque

The King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque, named after the late King, is the largest mosque in the Kingdom. Its architecture reflects the Umayyad style prevalent in several sites in Jordan.

 

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