22nd March 2007 Citadel, Archaeological Museum of Jordan & Omayyad Palace
The Citadel (Al-Qala), on the hill facing the Roman theater, can be reached by a very steep climb up Shabsugh Street but Ina and I didn't want to risk our "precious" knee, so we decided to take a taxi that will bring us up to the top of the hill and right in front of the entrance. Here the entrance fee is JD2.00 (RM10.00).
It is a good vantage point from which to view the hills and valleys of Jordan's capital.
At the top are the ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to Hercules, built at the same time as the theater,
and the Archaelogical Museum of Jordan, which has an outstanding collection of material.
The museum provides a comprehensive picture of human activity in Jordan from the Neolithic era up to the Byzantine period, and includes Nababaean artifacts from Petra and a collection of Dead Sea scrolls.
Not far from the museum is the Omayyad Palace (Al-Qasr) completed around 750 AD.
The enormous complex incorporates a whole,colonnaded Roman street and is through to have comprise administrative offices as well as the residence of Amman's local governer.
In this urband complex dating fron the early 8th AD can be distinguished two main areas: The Palace, within the precint of the walls of the Roman Temenos, in the northernmost part of Jabal Al-Qala'ah, and the Medina that spread over the rest of the mountain. In the present-day downtown area existed also in ancient times a lower City linked closely to the one on top of Jabal Al-Qala'ah.
The Palace is articulated along an axe that begins in the Vestibule or Entrance Hall, continues along the columnated street and ends in the Throne room. There are also nine independent residential units, built around one courtyard each, that complete the lay out of the Palace.
The Spanish Archaeological Mission
Since the early seventies the Spanish Archaeological Mission has been working, as a prefent aim, on the study and preservation of the Omayyad monuments in Jordan, being the Omayyad Palace of Amman the most significative one. The present campaign, that started in 1995, has meant an spectacular change in the knowledge and the apparience of the menuments at Jabal Al-Qala'ah.
This joint project between the Jordanian Dept of Antiquities, The Mnistry of Tourism, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and the Spanish Embassy, makes part of a long term programme for the presevation of the Omayyad architecture, a common feature of the shared Cultural Heritage of Jordan and Spain.
It will include the so called "Route of the Omayyads", a project to link, by means of touristic intenaries, the Cities and places witnessed the cultural interchanges between Al-Andalus and Bilad al Sham.
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