Roman Theatre, Amman
What is now Amman was once the Roman city of Philadelphia, a name was given to the settlement by an earlier Macedonian Greek ruler. The Romans took control of the area around 106 AD/CE.
Philadelphia became one of 10 cities at the eastern border of the Roman Empire which were and are known as the 'Decapolis'. The Decapolis cities lie in Jordan, Syria and Israel, though the majority of the are in Jordan). The cities adopted the Roman style of architecture and culture rather than maintaining the local Semitic culture, although the two cultures of course interacted.
The large theatre and the smaller Odeon next to it in what is now 'downtown' Amman are clear evidence of the city's importance during Roman times. The Odeon (now heavily restored) was built just before the theatre and is much smaller, seating perhaps 500 people. It was probably used for debates and discussions as well as for drama and, in its original form, may have been roofed or, at least, covered by textile awnings).
The theatre, set into the hillside, was probably built between 1131 to 161AD/CE, during the rule of Antonius Pius. It has the standard Roman theatre layout of semi-circular rows of stone bench seating, steeply tiered, facing the centre 'stage' where performances took place. The theatre seats around 6000 people and is still occasionally used for concerts and suchlike today. The theatre acoustics, of course, are as excellent as they are in all Roman theatres and the location was chosen so that the south-facing stage is in sunlight for most of the day whilst the audience are in shadow. Very clever builders, the Romans! :-)
Both theatre and odeon stand near what was once Philadelphia's Roman 'heart', its forum, although barely anything of that remains visible.
The theater was built during Antonius Piu's reign betwen 138 and 161. The large structure could seat about 6000 people and so this is the bigger Roman theater in Jordan and still today it is used for several shows.
The highest seats were called and still today are called Gods, they are far from the satege but still have the best view.
Built around 150 AD, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, the Amphitheatre is the most impressive survivor of Roman Philadelphia. It is also the largest Roman theatre in Jordan, with a seating capacity of up to 6000 people. It was cut into the north side of one of Amman's seven hills in what is now the city's downtown. The theatre was much restored in the 1950s and 1960s and has since held many cultural events and concerts. Within the Amphitheatre complex are two small museums, dedicated to Jordanian folklore and popular traditions. What is striking about the theatre is that it offers an incredibly quiet space with great acoustics, away from the mad streets of downtown Amman.
As you gaze down from Citadel Hill, you will instantly see the ancient Roman Amphitheatre built under Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD). Up to 5000 residents of Philadelphia (Roman Amman) were seated in its impossibly steep 33 rows to be entertained by plays and other theatrical productions. The site is still in use, even today for sporting and cultural events. It is cut deeply into a hill that once served the Romans as a necropolis. It is even connected to the Citadel above on the opposite hill by a long and deep hidden tunnel.
Watch your step! The theatre is incredibly steep and the stonework is well worn and slippery, even on a dry day.
There are 2 small museums built into the foundations of the Roman Amphitheatre. The Jordan Folklore Museum (open every day from 09:00-17:00, except Fridays 10:00-16:00) is in the right wing of the theatre and houses a collection of items showing the traditional life of local people. The Museum of Popular Traditions (open daily 09:00-17:00 except Tuesdays) is located the other end of the theatre stage. Its displays include traditional Jordanian costumes, fine embroidery, antique jewellery and several 6th century mosaics from Jerash and Madaba.
This is a landmark of Amman. The theatre is very big and situated in Downtown Amman.
The structure dates from c 170 AD. It could seat an audience of more than 6000 people.
Do climb to the top for some great views, not just of the theatre, but also Jebel al-Qal’a and the Odeon, which is next to the theatre.
Visiting the Roman theatre was most probably the cheapest entrance fee I paid. For 1 JD, you can visit the theatre, Odeon and the museums and the theatre.
While it may not exactly qualify as NYC broadway the Roman theatre in Amman is perfectly situated among the modern buildings of the city and is in excellent condition. In fact it wouldn't be much of a stretch to actual still have performances in the theatre as the majority of the structure is still intact. This is a wonderful place to sit down and take in the views of Amman and the Roman ruins that sit up on the hill. There is a small park in front of the theatre where the locals hang out and people watch.
This Roman theatre is dead smack in the middle of the city...it's 1 JOD to enter and 2 small museums are included in the price.......stand in the middle of the floor and you can hear yourself with the echo bouncing around, give yourself about 30 minutes max unless you plan to climb the steep stairs.
It's located in Al Ballad district.
Built during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (169-177 AD), the large and steeply raked theatre could seat about 6,000 people. It is built into the hillside, and oriented north to keep the sun off the spectators.
If you like archaeology, history of art and ancient architecture then it's a must see for you :)
This is one of the best attractions of Amman. It's located in the downtown area also called Al Balad. The theatre is very pretty and impressive if you decide to go up all the stairs.
Just at the location they have available the Museum of popular traditions and the Folklore museum, both really small.
If you are afraid to heights, be aware of not going that up. I am not afraid of heights but the steps are kind of slippery and funny looking to go up. So, i must say that I was a little bit scared.
Great spot to take nice pictures. I dont think that you will have to be here more than 30 minutes to do the 3 things all together.
ENtrance fee was 1 JD as of my trip on July 2008
The Roman Theatre is one of the best examples of Roman architecture in Amman. It is built on a side of a hill and inside it can sit more than 6000 people.
The thatre was built in the 2nd century AD, during the kingdom of Antonino Pio (138 - 161).
It was restored in 1957 but people used stones different from the original ones, so is restoration wasn't very accurate.
Today it is used as theatre in summer.
One of the main things to see in Amman is the Roman Amphitheatre in the city centre which gives great view of the city from the top. The Forum is opposite and has a smaller amphitheatre. Just outside the sites, you can still see ancient columns.
This restored Roman Theatre was my highlight of Amman. On arrival here you may be accosted by guides who may be useful to you, I decided to explore the theatre & its 2 museums on my own. The theatre has 3 tiers of seats & a capacity of 6000. from the very top there are great views of the downtown area. Be warned, it's not until you start descending back down that you realise how steep the steps are & they can be a bit slippy.
The Romans theatre is the largest in Jordan and holds 6,000 people. It was built in the second century AD by the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. It is constructed into the side of the mountain and is still used for sport displays and cultural events.
In Downtown Amman, see The Roman Amphitheatre, the Jordan Folklore Museum and Jordan Museum of Popular Tradition are inside. Built in the 2nd Century, the Odeon, is next to it. The Entrance ticket for all sites is 2JD.
Having the ability to seat 6,000 people, the Roman Amphitheatre is still used once in a while for events. For 1 JD, you get access to the Roman Amphitheatre, the Folklore Museum, and the Museum of Popular Traditions.