Citadel, Amman

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 Reviews

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  • Citadel
    by machomikemd
  • Citadel
    by machomikemd
  • Citadel
    by machomikemd
  • xaver's Profile Photo

    A nice jump in the past

    by xaver Written Jan 7, 2014

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    Amman as Rome has been built on seven hills and the area known as Citadel is located on the highest hill.
    Artefacts from the bronze era show how long this hill has been a fortress and an Agorà, some of these artefacts are shown in the small archeologicak museum inside the citadel.
    The citadel is surrounded by 1700 meters walls that have been rebuilt many times starting from the bronze era.
    Ticket 2 JD
    Open 8-16

    citadel Temple of Hercules
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    • Archeology
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    • Architecture

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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    The Citadel

    by MM212 Updated Aug 22, 2012

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    Occupying Jebel al-Qala'a, the highest of the seven hills, the Citadel dominates downtown Amman. The hill had been inhabited for thousands of years and remained of importance until the destructive earthquake of 749 AD. The walls protecting the Citadel were rebuilt and restored repeatedly, but trace their foundation to the earliest of times. The Citadel is the site of the ancient city of Rabbat Ammon, the Acropolis of Graeco-Roman Philadelphia, the seat of Christian bishops in the early Byzantine Empire, and the Omayyad Palace complex. When the city fell into decline after the earthquake of 749 AD, the Citadel was never rebuilt, except for a defensive watchtower by the Ayyubids to monitor Crusader activity. Today, the Citadel is one of Amman's most important historic sites and contains ruins of several structures dating from various periods, as well as the National Archaeological Museum. Cultural events are also frequently held within the Citadel.

    Citadel of Amman, Aug 2008 Seen from another hill, Aug 2008 Roman, Byzantine, & Omayyad ruins, Aug 2008 Omayyad wall, Aug 2008 Walls of the Citadel, Aug 2008
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  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo

    The view from the top

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated May 4, 2005

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    Little remains of ancient Philadelphia (the Greek name for the city that is now Amman) but a visit to the citadel gives some clues to the long history of this place as well as providing an excellent all round view of the modern city on its many hills.

    The most substantial ruin is the most recent - the qasr, once part of a much larger 8th century Omayyad palace, the remnants of which lie all around.

    Moving back in time to the 6th or 7th century, there is a small Byzantine basilica lying close to the museum

    Walk to the south and you will come to some Roman columns and a short section of wall -the restored scraps of the 2nd century AD Temple of Hercules.

    Look to the south-east and there is an excellent view of the Roman theatre and its surrounding buildings, to the south-west a huge Jordanian flag flies over the city, and all around the white stone buildings of the city cover the hillsides.

    The citadel opens at 10am

    leyle

    Qasr and flag - the old and the new
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  • Cristian_Uluru's Profile Photo

    The Citadel

    by Cristian_Uluru Written May 29, 2005

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    The first things that you can see in Amman is the Citadel. It is locate on gebel al-Qalah and all around it you can see the roman walls and the Arabian ones. There is a great nice temple (Temple of Hercules), a Byzantine Church, an Umayyad Palace Complex and a very nice museum.

    Amman as seen from Citadel
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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Jabal Al Qal'a: Citadel Hill

    by leics Written Feb 1, 2015

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    Given that Amman spreads itself over so many hills (19 now, 7 for centuries before that) it's not really obvious why this particular one should have been chosen as the location for the city[s most ancient structures. It isn't any higher than the hills immediately surrounding it and, as far as I could see, there nothing particularly special about it. Except.....

    ....there is evidence that people lived on this hill-top from the Paleolithic era, more than 18000 years ago. It was clearly a good place to live then and, in my limited archaeological experience, places which were good to live in the far distant past very often remain equally good for centuries...millennia..afterwards.

    You won't find evidence of all those earlier settlements still in existence, of course, not least because the Romans cleared much of the site before they began to build. They threw much of the debris down the side of the hill, where archaeologists later found thousands of pot sherds which told them a great deal about who lived there before the Romans took over. You'll certainly see the Roman Temple of Hercules, the remains of a later Byzantine church (probably 400s, maybe 500s) which served the town which once stood atop the hill and the vast Umayyad palace (600s-700s) which takes up a huge area to the west of the plateau and incorporates a Roman colonnaded street.

    What you will almost certainly not notice as you wander, unless they are pointed out to you, are the entrances to the caves which provided evidence for some of the earliest inhabitants, those of the early Bronze age (around 5000 years ago in Jordan) and even earlier. Look out for the small entrances as you walk up the path from the main entrance to the archaeological museum.

    The whole site remains a complex and somewhat confusing area of ruins and structures from several different periods, still under excavation in parts and not particularly well-signed. There are information boards dotted around but many excavations and structures have no information at all. I wished I'd had a proper guide book (or leaflet ) to hand as I explored and, on another visit, might well consider hiring a guide (available from the ticket office/entrance) to explain all the complicated and interwoven layers of history which are visible.

    The main paths around the site have decent surfaces, and none are particularly steep, so moving a wheelchair or pushchair/stroller around would be feasible although you won't be able to get into or very near many of the structures. The ticket office (I didn't pay for my ticket but think it is only 2 or 3 JD..a bargain) is housed in a modern building at the entrance, with toilets and a small cafe/seating area.

    It's a long, steep walk from downtown Amman up the hill to the entrance. You might be better off taking a taxi.

    Just a tiny fraction of the site Cave entrance (Bronze Age settlement) A bit of Roman Another cave entrance (Bronze & Iron Age) A bit of Assyrian (?)
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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    the citadel

    by call_me_rhia Written Nov 10, 2002

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    Another roman sight of Amman lies on Citadel Hill. From there, provided you get a sunny day (not my case) you would have wonderful view across Old City and over the Roman amphitheater. In the distance, right in front of you, theorethically, you should also be able to see the black and white Abu Darwish mosque on top of Jebel Ashrafiah.
    What you could see, in every weather, are the ruins of the Temple of Hercules, the remains of the Roman walls and part of an Omayyad castle. There's also a small archaeological Museum.

    ruins of the temple of hercules

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  • crazyman2's Profile Photo

    The Citadel

    by crazyman2 Written Oct 13, 2009

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    We visited the Citadel in April 2009.
    It's certainly an interesting place ----especially with a knowledgable guide/good guidebook. There is evidence of many civilizations here and as you wander through the ruins the views of the city are interesting.

    This site is really open ----typical of most sites in the Middle East! There were no restrictions e.g. keep off the monuments, no entry, no photography.

    We spent about 2 hours there amongst both local and international tourists. We did not feel that there were crowds or that this is a commercially developed site. No doubt the government will one day make it more touristy (like Petra) but that will be many years from now.

    Would I return? Yes.

    The Citadel:some of the remains a view from the Citadel roof of Umayyad palace part of the Citadel site some restoration is being undertaken

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  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    The Citadel

    by PierreZA Written Jun 6, 2009

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    The Citadel is situated on Jebel al-Qal’a. Among the sights are the magnificent Umayyad palace complex and the Temple of Hercules.
    The most impressive of the Umayyad palace is the domed entrance hall.

    There are also great views of Amman from Citadel Hill.

    Admission is 2 JD.

    It is easy to walk down to the Downtown area from here, but best to take a short taxi ride to the top if you are in the Downtown area (about 500 Fills).

    Umayyad Palace  - Entrance Pillars of Hercules View - Amman
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  • MiguelMV's Profile Photo

    The Citadel

    by MiguelMV Written Jan 9, 2006

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    Up in the hill that is in front of the Theatre is the Citadel. It is Amman's Acropolis. It has a roman temple (Hercule's temple), the Ummayd's Palace, a Byzantine church, some roman walls and the Museum of Archaeology. Very interesting to spend in the whole citadel about 2 hours looking and walking around the old monuments and at the museum. Also, the views from the old city that you can get from there are fabulous.

    Me at the Ummayd Palace, at Amman's Citadel
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  • chizz's Profile Photo

    Citadel and Archaeological Museum - Amman

    by chizz Written Apr 3, 2008

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    Drive or take a cab to the upper part of the city to see the roman ruins at the Citadel and get a good view of the city. The small museum is worth a look too to see the roman artifacts on display. Small entrance charges apply.

    The Citadel The Citadel Roman church ruins with new roof Me with schoolkids at Citadel

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  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo

    Amman Citadel

    by freya_heaven Updated Mar 3, 2004

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    Ammans Citadel stands on one of Ammans seven hills Jebel al-Qala'a.

    Unfortunately much of the citadel has long gone, but there are still plently of Ruins for you to wander around in where you can see evidence of Islamic, Byzantine and of course Roman construction.

    The Citadel is also a great viewing point to get you barings in Amman and over the Roman Theatre

    Amman and Hilltop Citadel
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  • jlanza29's Profile Photo

    I thought there were more to see !!!!!

    by jlanza29 Written Feb 26, 2009

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    The Citadel sits on top of one of Ammans hills, unfortanely there isn't much to see up here, the views of Amman are worth the trip up here but not much else...3 JOD to enter, give your self about 30 minutes to walk around and see the entire complex.

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  • Aitana's Profile Photo

    The Citadel

    by Aitana Written Dec 31, 2007

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    The Citadel hill of Amman (Jabal el Qala) has been inhabited for centuries. It was occupied as early as the Neolithic period, and fortified during the Bronze Age (1800 BC). It was important as a military and religious site.
    In the citadel you can see the Temple of Hercules, constructed under the rule of Marcus Aurelius (AD 162-166), similar to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus; a Byzantine basilica constructed in the 5th-6th centuries AD; the Umayyad governor's palace (8th century), with the dome, the Umayyad Mosque and the Cistern for the water supply to the governor's palace.
    From the citadel you can also enjoy a nice view of Amman. Towards the South, you will see the Roman theatre.

    Temple of Hercules

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  • tim07's Profile Photo

    The Citadel

    by tim07 Updated Jan 22, 2008

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    Here you'll find the Umayyad Palace, which dates back to about AD 720. The most intact building here is the domed audience hall, nearby is the small Byzantine Basilica & the National Archaeological Museum.

    South of the Basilica are the remaining pillars of the Temple of Hercules, from here you get a great view of the Downtown area.

    Temple of Hercules Umayyad Palace

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  • Djinn76's Profile Photo

    Jabal Al-Qala’a

    by Djinn76 Updated Dec 27, 2004

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    The site of Amman, ancient Rabbath Beni ‘Ammon, was occupied from as early as 8500-5500BC (pre-pottery neolithic).
    Settlements in the subsequent periods were revealed mainly on the citadel. This is a natural hill of 840m.
    After the annexation of the Nabataean kingdom by Trajan in 106 and the building of the Via Nova Tralana, Amman/ Philadelphia prospered being situated along this Roman road between Damascus and the Red Sea. In the Antonine period, in the 2nd century AD, Amman experienced reorganization as an urban centre based on a Greco-roman city plan, complete with an acropolis, temples and a lower city.

    The picture has been taken from the Jabal Weibdeh, one of the other 7 mounts on which Amman has been built.

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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

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