Amman is the capital city of the Kingdom of Jordan as well as the commercial center of Jordan. The city which was originally built atop seven hills now spans an area covering nineteen hills. Amman has a very long history dating back to almost 8500 years BC during the course of which it has been inhabited by several civilizations. The civilization of Amman shows that the people led a well-settled life and were involved in artistic work which shows the presence of a well-developed civilization. Amman was called by different names under different rulers. Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Hellenic ruler of Egypt renamed it Philadelphia. In 326 AD, Christianity became the religion of Jordan. The city was later renamed as Amman. In the year 1921, King Abdullah I chose Amman as his capital city. The population of the city, as per 2008 census, is 2,525,000.
Amman is always cool and pleasant by virtue of its location. It enjoys a Mediterranean climate and the weather in all the seasons is excellent. The summer temperature varies between 28° to 30° C. Winter is quite cold and it does snow sometimes. The city receives a little rainfall. Due to the pleasant climate and the prosperity of the city, more than 50% of Jordan’s population is found in Amman. The people here are well educated and very hospitable and they take great pride in showing people around their city.
Take a bus tour of the city of Amman and then you can venture out alone to the place of your choice. The tour takes you to the Roman Theater, Museums, Parks, Downtown which is called ‘Balad’, and the shopping area located at ‘Wakalat’ street. Visit the beautiful Citadel which has been there from the times of the Ammonites. Take a walk through King Hussein’s Park and have a look at King Hussein’s car collection at the Automobile Museum. Take your children to the children’s museum – they will surely love it. Go downtown and visit the traditional markets called ‘Souqs’, and get the thrill of bargaining – you can pick up a few authentic souvenirs. The best time for you to enjoy Amman is at sunset when the white buildings of city are bathed in an orange glow. It is a scene that you cannot forget.
Visit the Citadel which is the ancient site of Rabbath-Ammon excavations. The Citadel is an impressive building with an imposing gateway, a hall, and four vaulted chambers. Situated very close to the Citadel is the Byzantine Basilca and this church is believed to be in existence from the 6th or 7th century. Very near here you will find the Great Temple of Amman which was earlier called as the Temple of Hercules. Not very far from the Temple of Hercules is the Jordan Archeological Museum which has a very good collection of antiquities. You will even find the Dead Sea Scrolls here!
Walk downhill from the Citadel and you will reach the Roman Theater which is a relic of the bye-gone times of ancient Philadelphia. The theater can accommodate about 6000 spectators and it is still used for sports and cultural events. The Jordan Folklore Museum and the Museum of Popular Traditions are located in the same building as the theater. The former museum displays items showing the traditional life of the local people while the latter museum has on display traditional Jordanian costumes, fine embroidery, and antique jewelry. You will find another but smaller theater called the Odeon with a 500-seat capacity. It is used now as it used to be done in the Roman times to hold musical concerts. Plan your next vacation to Amman and take in all the sights at a leisurely pace.