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Popular Destinations

Ajloun

 

73 km north of Amman, and a short journey northwest from Jerash, through a beautiful pine-forest and olive groves, brings the town of Ajloun, where Hadrian stayed over the winter of 129-30 AD, and built himself an arch well outside the town, leaving unbonded its sides for future city walls to come out to meet it.
 
Here you will see the Castle of Ajloun or Qalaat Errabadh (Arabic for "Hilltop Castle"), from which there is a splendid view westwards into the Jordan Valley. It looks like a Crusader fortress, but it was built by Muslims in 1184-85 as a military fort and buffer to protect the region from invading Crusader forces. It was built on the orders of the local governor, Ezz Eddin Osama bin Munqethe, a nephew of the Ayyubid leader Salahuddin Al-Ayyoubi (Saladin), as a direct retort to the new Latin castle of Belvoir (Kawkab El-Hawa) on the opposite side of the valley between the Tiberias and Besan, and as a base to develop and control the iron mines of Ajloun.
 
 
This superb example of Arab and Islamic architecture was built as a rectangle with four square towers and an entrance on the south side dominating a wide stretch of the north Jordan Valley and passages to it. From its hilltop position, the Castle of Ajloun protected the communication routes between south Jordan and Syria, and was one of a chain of forts, which lit beacons at night to pass signals from the Euphrates as far as Cairo.
 
Two years after it was completed the fortress's original purpose had already been outlived, for Salahuddin defeated the Crusaders at the battle of the Horns of Hattin in 1189, which marked the beginning of the end of their occupation of the Holy Land.
 
In 1214-15 the Castle of Ajloun was enlarged by Aybak bin Abdullah, majordomo of the Caliph Al-Muazham Isa; in 1260 it fell to the Mongols, but was later rebuilt by the Egyptian Mamluks. No longer needed for military purposes, it was used as an administrative center responsible to Damascus.
 
Some of the stones with which the castle was built have crosses carved into them, giving credence to a tradition, recounted by a 13th century Arab historian that: "an ancient monastery once stood on the site, inhabited by a Christian named Ajloun; when the monastery fell into ruin, the castle took its place and the name of the monk".
 
The castle today is beautifully preserved and is a popular attraction for foreigners & Jordanians alike. The structures, towers, chambers, galleries and staircases that form part of the town as well as the beautiful scenery that surrounds the hills nearby will captivate you.
Ajloun, Jordan

Salt

 

It's the ideal place for admiring the architecture, stopping off at the small archaeological museum, and finishing up at Salt Zaman, a lovely restored old building in the heart of the town, charmingly furnished with antiques and handicrafts. Salt (pronounced Es-Sult or Es-Salt) also houses a Handicrafts School where you can admire traditional skills of ceramics, weaving, silk screen printing, and dyeing.A 20-minutes drive northwest from Amman (about 30 km) transports you back in time to a town of picturesque streets and dazzling houses from the late Ottoman period, with their characteristic long-arched windows.
 
Salt is the most historic town in Jordan. For long periods in history it was the most important settlement between the Jordan River and the desert to the east. Its golden age was at the end of 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, and it is the legacy of this period that makes Salt unique in Jordan and beyond.Salt has attracted settlers since the Iron Age at least. The area enjoys a moderate climate, a plentiful supply of water and fertile soil. It was also well placed on the north to south trade routes and those running from east to west, linking the interior with Jerusalem, Nablus, Nazareth, and the Mediterranean coast. Its mixed Muslim-Christian population and its trading tradition helped create an atmosphere of tolerance and coexistence.
 
 
There are Roman tombs on the outskirts of the town, and during the Byzantine period it was known as Saltos Hieraticon. In the 13th century a fortress was built on the site of the citadel by the Mamluk Sultan Al-Malek Al-Mu'azham, who was based in Cairo. Destroyed by the Mongols in 1260, the fortress was rebuilt a year later by a second Mamluk ruler from Egypt. Six centuries later, in 1840, the forces of yet another Egyptian potentate, Ibrahim Pasha, demolished it again. The Citadel is now the site of a large mosque, which towers over the modern town.
 
In the middle of 19th century, Salt began to expand and new construction reflected in status. In 1870s merchants moved in from Palestine. Families are leading contemporary observes to speak of Salt as a mini Nablus.
 
Salt's fortunes declined after World War I. The first blow came when Emir Abdullah ibn Al-Hussein chose Amman as the capital of the new Emirate of Transjordan.
 
Salt’s Archaeological & Folklore Museum displays artifacts dating back to the Chalcolithic period to the Islamic era as well as other items relating to the history of the area. In the folklore museum there is a good presentation of Bedouin and traditional costumes and everyday folkloric items.
Salt, Jordan

Umm Al-jimal

 

The eastern most of the major northern cities, Umm Al-Jimal is located at the edge of the eastern basalt desert plain, along a secondary road that was close to the junction of several ancient trade routes that linked central Jordan with Syria and Iraq. Among the most interesting structures to visit are the tall barracks with their little chapel, several large churches, numerous open and roofed water cisterns, the outlines of a Roman fort, and the remains of several town gates. This sits is UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 
 
The extensive black basalt city of Umm Al-Jimal, anciently called "Black Gem of the Desert", lies like a dark encrustation on the flat desert of northern Jordan. So many of the buildings still stand to two, or even three, storeys that it seems as if its abandonment must have been within living memory - in fact it has been deserted for about 1200 years.
 
The ruins here reveals a wide range of structures typical of a modest provincial town that lacked a formal urban plan unlike the monumental splendor, architectural extravaganza, and imperial scale of towns such as Gerasa, Gadara and Philadelphia. Umm Al-Jimal, means "Mother of" either "Camels" or "Beauties" in Arabic, is one of the most truly impressive monuments of ancient civilizations.
 
The Nabataeans established a settlement here in the 1st century BC during their northerly expansion, perhaps as a staging post on the trade route between Damascus and the south. As there are no springs or wells, the entire water supply had to be collected during the rainy season in hundreds of cisterns.
 
Herod the Great drove the Nabataeans out of their northern domains around 30 BC, and the Romans soon extended their rule over the entire area. Umm Al-Jimal was greatly enlarged from the 2nd century AD onwards, and became an important military base - it was enclosed within walls; a new reservoir was built, as well as a sophisticated hydraulic system outside the city to supply its cisterns and reservoirs; and a vast, but now ruinous, fort was constructed - to be replaced under the Byzantines in the early 5th century by the much smaller, and well preserved, barracks, for by now the military role of the city had diminished.
 
Under the Byzantines Umm Al-Jimal continued to grow - many houses were built, 14 churches and a cathedral. It also flourished under the Umayyads - still with a Christian community - but earthquakes, especially that of 747 AD, caused considerable damage; and the Abbasid removal to Baghdad ensured that the city was never rebuilt. It remained abandoned until the early 20th century, when some Druzes from the nearby Jabal Addoruze took up brief residence here.
 
Um Al-jimal, Jordan

Hammam Assarah

 

Hammam Assarah, Jordan is one of the most beautiful desert castles. The wonderful desert castles are the major attractions of Jordan which draws a lot of tourists from all over the world. The desert castles were built by the Ummayad dynasty that were used for a variety of purposes. Situated 2 km to the west of Qasr Al-Hallabat. The plan of Hammam Assarah (Assarah Bath Complex) is strikingly similar to Qusayr Amra, though its masonry has a better finishing and its courses are more tightly joined. Its plan, like Amra, consists of 3 principal elements: The Audience Hall, The Bath Complex, and The Hydraulic Structures.
 
These are splendid monuments and you must definitely visit those while you are on tours to the city. One of the must-see places in the region is the Hammam Assarah, Jordan.
 
 
The desert castles served a variety of purposes. These were used as retreats by the rulers of the region when they were wearied of the busy city life. These were also used by the many government officials when they were travailing to Hejaz. Hammam Assarah, Jordan is located at the western end of Qasr Al-Hallabat. The design of this structure bears close resemblance to the famous Qusayr Amra. The masonry of the former is however better finished than the latter.
 
There are three main elements in the design of the Hammam Assarah, Jordan. These include: the many hydraulic structures, the huge bath complex and the large audience hall. There are three tunnel vaults that are located on the top of the audience hall. These tunnel vaults rest on the sidewalls. It also rests on the two transverse arches. There is a beautiful fountain which is located at the northeastern end of the complex. This fountain received its water from a high tank which is located on the eastern side of the monument. The bath comprises three large rooms. There are hot, warm and cold rooms.
 
Hammam Assarah, Jordan was severely damaged in the early 1950s when it was pilfered by the people of the region for the many stones it was believed to house. You must definitely visit this site while you are on tours to the place. You would be able to familiarize yourself with the architectural designs of the Ummayads while you are exploring the place. This monument is a rich testimony of the early Islamic art and you are sure to have a great time visiting the monument. This is one of the most visited castles among the many desert castles that are scattered throughout the region.
 
Jordan

Azraq Fort

 

Azraq Fort, Jordan is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the land. Jordan is a much visited tourist spot. It is famous through out the world for its rock-cut architecture. It has also earned the distinction of being one of the wonders of the world. It has been declared so by the. UNESCO has listed it as one of the heritage sites. While you are on a trip to the city you must definitely visit Azraq Fort, Jordan.The copious springs in the oasis of Azraq made it an attractive place for settlement since the Lower Paleolithic Period. In the Roman period, the site was of crucial importance because of its location near the northern tip of Wadi Al-Sirhan, the natural migration route between southern Syria and the interior of the Arabian Peninsula.
 
A chain of fortresses defended the entrance to the Oasis; Aseikim, 15 km northeast of Azraq and Uwainid, another 15 km to the southwest, close to the Shaumari Nature Reserve. The present fort at Azraq, built entirely from local basalt stones, was occupied from the time of the Tetrarchy (300 AD), as an inscription of Diocletian and Maximian suggests.
 
 
Another Latin inscription indicates that Azraq may have been called Dasianis or Basianis (The Basic) in Roman times. An Arabic inscription above the main entrance indicates a major rebuilding program in 1237 AD. During the Umayyad period, it was the place of retreat for Al-Walid II, who indignantly struck away from the court of his uncle and reigning Caliph, Hisham bin AbdulMalek (724-743 AD).
 
An interesting feature of Azraq South (Azraq Al-Shishan), is a large hexagonal reservoir built of dressed basalt stones and strengthened at regular intervals by rounded and triangular buttresses, placed against the outer and inner faces of the enclosing walls. These features bring to mind the large enclosures at Qasr Al-Hir East and Qasr Al-Hir West in Syria, which date to the Umayyad period. Azraq fort also was the headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia during the Arab Revolt.
 
Some 2 km to the north of the fort is an Umayyad farmhouse (Qasr Ain Al-Sil), which includes oil-presses and a bath consisting of 3 rooms: cold, warm, and hot.
 
A visit to Azraq Fort, Jordan is a must. It would familiarize you with the many facets of the architecture of the period. You are sure to have a pleasant time while you are touring the place. This is definitely one of the best structures among the many desert places that are there in the region.
Azraq, Jordan

Desert Castles

 

Scattered throughout the black basalt desert, east of Amman, the Desert Castles stand as a testament to the flourishing beginnings of Islamic-Arab civilization. These seemingly isolated pavilions, caravan stations, secluded baths, and hunting lodges, were at one time integrated agricultural or trading complexes, built mostly under the Umayyads (661-750 AD), when Muslim Arabs had succeeded in transforming the fringes of the desert into well-watered settlements.Their fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations, inspired by the best in Persian and Graeco-Roman traditions, tell countless stories of the life as it was during the 8th century. Called castles because of their imposing stature, the desert complexes actually served various purposes as caravan stations, agriculture and trade centres, resort pavilions and outposts that helped distant rulers forge ties with local Bedouins. Several of these preserved compounds, all of which are clustered to the east and south of Amman, can be visited on one - or two-day loops from the city.
 
 
Aside from being widely considered as the most spectacular and original monuments of early Islamic art, these complexes also served practical purposes: namely, as residences, caravanserais, and baths.
 
Quseir Amra, one of the best preserved monuments, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its interior walls and ceilings are covered with lively frescoes, and two of the rooms are paved with colorful mosaics.
 
The Umayyad Desert Castles were initially regarded as desert retreats (Badiyas) for Umayyad princes who, being of nomadic origins, grew weary of city life with all its rigors and congested atmosphere. Those castles allowed them to return to the desert, where their nomadic instincts could be best expressed, and where they could pursue their pastimes away from watchful eyes of the pious minded.
 
The castles are partly rebuilt from earlier remains and partly new constructions. The function and use of the buildings are yet today not quite determined, scholarship has suggested that they might have served a variety of defensive, agricultural, residential and commercial purposes. There are different theories concerning the use of the buildings, they may have been a fortress, a meeting place for Bedouins (between themselves or with the Umayyad governor), badiyas (retreats for the nobles) or used as a caravanserai. Many seem to have been surrounded by an oasis and to have served as a base for hunting.
 
The castles represent some of the most impressive examples of early Islamic art and Islamic architecture, and are notable for including many figurative frescos and reliefs and people and animals, less frequently found in later Islamic art on such a large and public scale. Many elements of the palaces are also on display in museums in Amman.
Amman, Jordan

Umm Qais

 

Site of the famous miracle of the Gadarene swine, Gadara was renowned in its time as a cultural centre. It was the home of several classical poets and philosophers, including Theodorus, founder of a rhetorical school in Rome, and was once called “a new Athens” by a poet. Perched on a splendid hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, Gadara is known today as Umm Qais, and boasts an impressive colonnaded street, a vaulted terrace, and the ruins of two theatres. You can take in the sights and then dine on the terrace of a fine restaurant with a breathtaking view.
 
 
The Al-Himma therapeutic hot springs are located around 10km north of Umm Qais and were once highly regarded by the Romans. There are two bathing facilities: a privately-run complex, and a public bath complex, with separate timetables for men and women.
 
The town is situated on a ridge, which falls gently to the east but steeply on its other three sides, so that it was always potentially of strategic importance. By the third century BC the town was of some cultural importance. It was the birthplace of the satirist Menippos, a slave who became a Cynic philosopher and satirised the follies of mankind in a mixture of prose and verse. His works have not survived, but were imitated by Varro and by Lucian. The Greek historian Polybius describes Gadara as being in 218 BC the 'strongest of all places in the region'. Nevertheless it capitulated shortly afterwards when besieged by the Seleucid king Antiochus III of Syria. The region passed in and out of the control of the Seleucid kings of Syria and the Ptolemies of Egypt.
 
In 167 BC the Jews of Jerusalem rebelled against the Seleucids, and in the ensuing conflict in the region Gadara and other cities suffered severe damage. In the early first century BC Gadara gave birth to its most famous son, Meleager. He was one of the most admired Hellenistic Greek poets, not only for his own works but also for his anthology of other poets, which formed the basis of the large collection known as the Greek Anthology.
 
Many visitors come to Umm Qais on day trips from the capital, Amman, roughly 110 kilometres (68 mi) to the south, to see its extensive ruins and enjoy its panoramic views. The Sea of Galilee and Tiberias, Israel, are visible, and just across the valley of the Yarmouk River is the southern end of the Golan Heights - claimed by and recognized as Syria, but under Israeli administration since the Six-Day War in 1967. Mount Hermon bordering Lebanon is visible in the distance on clear days.
 
At Beit Rousan - formerly the house of the Ottoman governor and now part of the complex - are exhibited Greek statues and Christian mosaics.
Um Qais, Jordan

Dead Sea

 

Dead Sea, is over 400m (1,312 ft.) below sea level. The lowest point on the face of the earth, this vast stretch of water receives a number of incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a dense, rich, cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products.
 
 
The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost other-worldly beauty. Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar (Bela).One of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world, the Jordanian east coast of the Dead Sea has evolved into a major hub of both religious and health & wellness tourism in the region. A series of good roads, excellent hotels with spa and fitness facilities, as well as archaeological and spiritual discoveries make this region as enticing to today’s international visitors as it was to kings, emperors, traders, prophets and pilgrims in antiquity.
 
The leading attraction at the Dead Sea is the warm, soothing, super salty water itself – some ten times saltier than sea water, and rich in chloride salts of magnesium, sodium, potassium, bromine and several others. The unusually warm, incredibly buoyant and mineral-rich waters have attracted visitors since ancient times, including King Herod the Great and the beautiful Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra. All of whom have luxuriated in the Dead Sea’s rich, black, stimulating mud and floated effortlessly on their backs while soaking up the water's healthy minerals along with the gently diffused rays of the Jordanian sun.
Dead Sea, Jordan

Wadi Rum

A journey to Wadi Rum is a journey to another world. A vast, silent place, timeless and starkly beautiful.. Wadi Rum is one of Jordan's main tourist attractions being the most stunning desertscape in the World, lying 320 km southwest of Amman, 120 km south of Petra, and only 68 km north of Aqaba.

 

Sands at Wadi Rum

Uniquely shaped massive mountains rise vertically out of the pink desert sand, which separate one dark mass from another in a magnificent desert scenery of strange breathtaking beauty, with towering cliffs of weathered stone.. The faces of the sheer rock cliffs have been eroded by the wind into faces of men, animals and monsters.

Wadi Rum is probably best known because of its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18, and as the setting for the film that carried his name "Lawrence of Arabia".

Everywhere in this moonscape place are indications of man's presence since the earliest known times. Scattered around are flint hand axes, while on the rocks at the feet of the mountains the names of ancient travellers are scratched. All around, there is emptiness and silence. In this immense space, man is dwarfed to insignificance.

The valley floors are some 900-1000 meters above sea level, and the great sandstone crags rise sheer, a further 500-550 meters. Jabal Rum is the highest peak in the area and the 2nd highest in Jordan. Others are some 27 km north of the Rum village like Jabal Kharaz and Jabal Burdah with its Rock Bridge which is one of Wadi Rum's most popular attractions.

 

The stunning desertscape of Wadi Rum

There are many ways to explore this fragile, unspoiled desert retreat. Serious trekkers will be drawn to Wadi Rum, with challenging climbs some 1750 m high, while casual hikers can enjoy an easy course through the colorful hills and canyons. Naturalists will be drawn to the desert in springtime, when rains bring the greening of the hills and an explosion of 2000 species of wildflowers. Red anemones, poppies and the striking black iris, Jordan's national flower, all grow at will by the roadside and in more quiet reaches.

Stunning in its natural beauty, Wadi Rum epitomizes the romance of the desert. Now the home of several Bedouin tribes, Wadi Rum has been inhabited for generations. These hospitable and friendly desert people are settled in Wadi Rum in scattered nomadic camps throughout the area. Visitors who are invited to share mint tea or cardamon coffee in their black tents, perhaps sitting by the fire under a starry desert sky, will have an experience not to be forgotten.

 

A view from Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is an ideal location for hiking, climbing and trekking. Except in summer months, climbing the Rock Bridge here is unforgettable. 4x4 vehicle tours and hot air balloon riding at dawn and in the late afternoon are feasible with previous arrangement. Camel trips from the wadi to either Aqaba (several days) or Petra (about a week) may also be arranged.

Wadi Rum History

Geologists think that this Wadi (the Arabic word for "valley") resulted from a great crack in the surface of the earth caused by an enormous upheaval, which shattered mammoth pieces of granite, and sandstone ridges from the mountains of the Afro-Arabian shield. Some of the ridges are a 1000 feet high and topped with domes worn smooth by the desert winds.

 

The Massive Mountains of Wadi Rum

Everywhere, in this timeless and empty place, are indications of man's presence since the earliest known times. Archaeologists are certain that the Wadi Rum area was inhabited in the Prehistoric periods, mainly the Neolithic period between the 8th and 6th centuries BC, and was known as Wadi Iram. Fresh water springs made Rum a meeting center for caravans heading towards Syria and Palestine from Arabia.

Neolithic flints, Iron Age pottery and Minaean graffiti indicate settlement of the area prior to the Nabataeans. Before Islam, it served as the gathering place for the tribes of Ad, Thamud, Lihyan and Main. The Nabataeans, however, surpassed those early tribes in trade activities and monumental achievements.

Recent excavations in the south have uncovered a Caleolithic settlement dating from 4500 BC. On a hill, at the foot of Jabal Rum, lies the Allat temple originally built by the Ad tribe and remodeled by the Nabataeans in the 1st century BC.

Thamudic Inscriptions at Wadi RumA small village to the northwest of the temple was founded by the Nabataeans including a bath complex. Thamudic inscriptions, at the foot of the cliffs on both sides of the main Wadi, can be found in ancient stone constructions. These inscriptions on the temple confirm the pre-Islamic involvement of the Arabian tribes in the construction of the sanctuary. The temple was taken over by Thamudic tribes and Thamudic graffiti covers earlier Nabataean inscriptions, walls and columns.

Approximately 8.5 kms east of Wadi Rum, at Disi, an Italian excavation uncovered an early Nabataean site, which was occupied before the Nabataeans moved to the rose-red city of Petra. Throughout the valley, are scattered slabs of rocks with inscriptions in early Thamudic writing, recording the names of travelers who passed through centuries ago.

Wadi Rum was the headquarters of Prince Feisal bin Al-Hussein and T.E. Lawrence during World War I, to fight for the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Lawrence became a legendary figure for his key role in the fight for the Arab cause. He made his home in this magical area. Ain Asshallaleh, also known as Lawrence's Spring is just a short walk up the hillside from the Nabataean temple. The mountain aptly known as the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, was named by T.E. Lawrence, and was the inspiration for the title of his book of the same name.

 

 

 

 

 

Flora and Fauna, Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is a protected environment. Rare species of animals, small plants, and herbs can be found by the inquisitive traveler. Red anemones, poppies and the striking black iris, Jordan's national flower, all grow at will by the roadside and in more quiet reaches. Herbal medicinal cures used for centuries by the Bedouins are found in the mountainous regions.

Wadi Rum is also a bird-watchers' haven with its 110 recorded species. Vultures, buzzards, eagles and sparrows are a few to be seen by those looking skyward. Other interesting creatures to be found include the camel-spider, feared by local Bedouins for its ability to harm camels, however this spider is not dangerous to man.

Seen gracefully in its natural habitat, the Ibex, mountain goat, is often spotted in the desert terrain. Another interesting animals are the Gray Wolf, Blandford's Fox, and the Arabian Sand Cat which is similar in appearance to a domesticated cat and survives in its harsh desert surroundings.

Weather and Clothing - Wadi Rum

Temperature in Wadi Rum ranges from an average of 32°C (89.6 F) in the daytime to a minimum of 1°C (33.8 F) in the evening. Ideal months to visit are March, April, September, October and November. Wadi Rum receives its annual rainfall in the winter months. It has also been known to snow in the mountains, yet snow quickly melts.

 

Camel Riding at Wadi Rum

Protective clothing should be worn in the summer. Sun block, water and cool covering clothing should be used in the summer months. Conservative clothing should be worn at all times, for respect of the traditional Bedouin culture. A Bedouin Kouffieh is recommended for protection from the sun and sand. This can be purchased at the rest house or in the village.

Wadi Rum, Jordan

Azraq Fort/dessert Castles

The copious springs in the oasis of Azraq made it an attractive place for settlement since the Lower Paleolithic Period. In the Roman period, the site was of crucial importance because of its location near the northern tip of Wadi Al-Sirhan, the natural migration route between southern Syria and the interior of the Arabian Peninsula.

A chain of fortresses defended the entrance to the Oasis; Aseikim, 15 km northeast of Azraq and Uwainid, another 15 km to the southwest, close to the Shaumari Nature Reserve. The present fort at Azraq, built entirely from local basalt stones, was occupied from the time of the Tetrarchy (300 AD), as an inscription of Diocletian and Maximian suggests.

 

Ruins of Azraq Fort

Another Latin inscription indicates that Azraq may have been called Dasianis or Basianis (The Basic) in Roman times. An Arabic inscription above the main entrance indicates a major rebuilding program in 1237 AD. During the Umayyad period, it was the place of retreat for Al-Walid II, who indignantly struck away from the court of his uncle and reigning Caliph, Hisham bin AbdulMalek (724-743 AD).

An interesting feature of Azraq South (Azraq Al-Shishan), is a large hexagonal reservoir built of dressed basalt stones and strengthened at regular intervals by rounded and triangular buttresses, placed against the outer and inner faces of the enclosing walls. These features bring to mind the large enclosures at Qasr Al-Hir East and Qasr Al-Hir West in Syria, which date to the Umayyad period. Azraq fort also was the headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia during the Arab Revolt.

Some 2 km to the north of the fort is an Umayyad farmhouse (Qasr Ain Al-Sil), which includes oil-presses and a bath consisting of 3 rooms: cold, warm, and hot.

Azraq, Jordan