Citadel - Temple of Hercules, Amman
The Roman Temple of Hercules is likely to be you see as you enter Amman's 'Citadel': you'll see its columns in the distance..
Set high atop Jabla al Qal'a hill, it is certain that this temple must once have been massively impressive. It was constructed around the same time as the Roman theatre which lies far below it (see separate tip) and there was once a vast staircase leading all the way from the Forum below to the temple high above. The staircase alone must have been a fantastic sight but, sadly, it is no longer visible.
The temple columns which you now see were re-erected in the early 1990s, have long been felled by earthquakes and the passage of time. If you look closely at the photos you can see where modern cylindrical blocks have been added in order to create the reconstruction.
Those columns surrounded the 'cella', the innermost and most sacred part of any Roman temple. Within the cella of this particular temple is a chunk of exposed rock which may...*may* ...have once been a sacred part of a much, much earlier Ammonite temple.
It is not 100% certain that this temple was actually dedicated to Hercules. That assumption has been made because so many coins with his image have been found in nearby excavations, and because of the two absolutely huge chunks which remain of a truly enormous marble statue (probably around 13 metres high): just part of a hand and an elbow. They are now set just behind the temple, near the entrance to the little archaeological museum.
You can't miss the Temple of Hercules if you visit the Citadel...and you shouldn't miss the Citadel if you visit Amman.
This temple was built betwen 162 and 166 AD. It is larger than any temple in Rome itself and it can be seen from any point of the city. This is indeed the main attraction of the citadel, next to the temple there is a panoramic view of the center of the city.
The Main Draw of the Amman Citadel is the temple of Hercules, other areas of the citadel that are also popular are the Archeological museum and the Umayyad Palace and the Roman Theater. The Temple stands on a platform at the head of the monumental staircase which formerly led up from the lower city: the blocks on the cliff edge mark the position of the staircase, and afford a tremendous panoramic view over the city center. it was built during the Roman Occupation at between 162-166 AD (during the reign of Marcul Aurelius) and they say that this temple larger than the one in Rome.
Next to the Temple of Hercules once stood a colossal statue of a god. Although the specific deity is now unknown, it might well have been Hercules, given that the neighbouring Temple was dedicated to him. Only two fragments of the statue have survived: fingers from the left hand and a knee! These two pieces have enabled archaeologists to estimate that the statue measured 10 metres in height.
Towering above downtown Amman, the Temple of Hercules is said to have been larger than any temple in the Roman Empire's capital, Rome, measuring 43 by 27 metres. It was completed in 166 AD within the Acropolis of Philadelphia, today's Citadel of Amman. Although much of the structure has disappeared, the base of the temple and a few of its columns have survived. Some of the columns were re-erected in the 1990s and are visible from most of downtown Amman.
Everyone visiting Amman must visit the ruins of the Temple of Hercules. There is an ancient Byzantine Church in the same spot also. And the Roman Amphlitheater ruins. I LOVE history so it was like a dream for me to see the things I've read about.
At Amman's Citadel, one of the most important monuments of the city is Hercules Temple. It was built to honour the emperor Marco Aurelius, between the years 161 and 180. We can still see two of the four columns of the facade, as well as some other columns of the other rooms of the palace.
About 100 meters south of the church is what is thought to have been the Temple of Hercules, today also known as the Great Temple of Amman. The temple was built in the reign of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) over an ancient temple dedicate to Ammonite god Melkom. Inside the temple there was the statue of Hercules that it was 9 metres high!!! From the left of the temple there was a long stairs that went to the downtown of Amman, near the Roman Theatre. Near the temple there are some ruins of Arabic towors bult with stone stolen from the temple.
Not much left of this temple erected in the 2nd centry under the roman emperor Marc-Aurele. However these 3 columns give a good idea of the temple splendor. At this time a huge marble statue of Hercule was standing there.