`Iraq al Amir Travel Guide

  • Lion sculpture of Qasr Iraq al-Amir, Dec 2010
    Lion sculpture of Qasr Iraq al-Amir, Dec...
    by MM212
  • Dec 01
    Dec 01
    by MM212
  • The fertile Wadi Seer, Dec 2010
    The fertile Wadi Seer, Dec 2010
    by MM212

`Iraq al Amir Things to Do

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    Qasr Iraq al-Amir, Dec 2010 4 more images

    by MM212 Updated Jul 31, 2012

    One of the few remaining structures - if not the only one - from the Hellenistic period in Jordan, Qasr el-Abd (also known as Qasr Iraq el-Amir) dates from a little after 200BC. The small palace is thought, though not definitively, to have been built by Hercanus Tobiad, the governor of Ancient Ammon/Philadelphia. The palace is known as Qasr el-Abd, "Palace of the Slave," possibly because Hercanus himself, as governor, was known as the "Slave of the People." The lone rectangular structure is nowadays partially reconstructed, but it originally consisted of two floors with a tower at each corner and was surrounded by a reflective pool. The palace was built with very large stones, some of which are said to weigh as much as 20 tonnes! The main entrance is through the northeast façade, which has a central portico supported by double columns. The exterior of the palace was once richly decorated but only a few features have remained, such as the very well preserved lion and feline sculptures. The palace was destroyed in an earthquake in 362 AD, so much of what is standing today is due to reconstruction efforts by archaeologists.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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    Panther haut relief, Dec 2010 2 more images

    by MM212 Updated Jul 31, 2012

    The most striking architectural feature of Qasr el-Abd are the three well preserved lion and panther haut-reliefs decorating its exterior. The two panthers, on either side of the palace at ground level, were fountains (the water spout in the mouths can still be seen). It is said that these sculptures show a mix of Sassanid and Hellenistic styles, which is quite appropriate for an area influenced by both Persian and Greek arts.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Archeology

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    Interior of Qasr el-Abd, Dec 2010 3 more images

    by MM212 Updated Jul 31, 2012

    It takes a bit of imagination to visualize the interior of the palace in its full splendour. What is partially mounds of rubble today was once a two floored edifice, where the lower floor served as the working area and the upper floor as the "piano nobile". Attached are a few photos.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Architecture

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