Jordan's desert castles, beautiful examples of both early Islamic art and architecture, stand testament to a fascinating era in the country's rich history. Their fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations, inspired by the best in Persian and Graeco-Roman traditions, tell countless stories of the life as it was during the 8th century. Called castles because of their imposing stature, the desert complexes actually served various purposes as caravan stations, agriculture and trade centers, resort pavilions and outposts that helped distant rulers forge ties with local Bedouins. Several of these preserved compounds, all of which are clustered to the east and south of Amman, can be visited on one - or two-day loops from the city.

Quseir Amra, one of the best-preserved monuments, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its interior walls and ceilings are covered with lively frescoes, and two of the rooms are paved with colorful mosaics.

Qasr Al-Mushatta, Qasr A-Kharrana, Qasr A-Tuba and Qasr Al-Hallabat have been restored and are all in excellent condition. The black basalt fort at Azraq, in continuous use since Late Roman times, was the headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia during the Arab Revolt.

 

Crusader Castles

For those fascinated by the Crusader Legends and Lore, the second group of castles beckons. The scenic Kings' Highway is littered with the remains of Crusader forts and outposts. The most important among these are Karak and Showbak - fascinating examples of architectural and military traditions of the time. Their galleries, towers, chapels, and ramparts still echo with the resolve of the Crusaders who built them almost a thousand years ago.

 

Suggested Tours
Duration: 12 hours Tour type:

Safaga Shore Excursions Tours: One day tour to luxor from Safaga Port Visiting the Highlights of luxor West and East Bank that includes a visit to Valley of the Kings, Hats

Duration: 2 Days Tour type:

Safaga Shore Excursions: Overnight trip to Luxor from Safaga port visiting Luxor Temple, Karnak temples and Valley of the Kings and more. You are going to have a private to

Duration: 2 Days Tour type:

Safaga Shore Excursions: Private tours from Safaga Port Visiting Cairo and luxor for 2 Days 1 night visiting Giza Pyramids in cairo ,Luxor Temple,Valley of Kings and Coloss

Duration: 12 hours Tour type:

Enjoy Cairo To Alexandria Day Trip, Visiting rock-cut Roman catacombs, the ruins of a Roman temple complex, and Qaitbey Citadel. Visit the old Bibleotheca Alexandrina and e

Duration: 3 hours Tour type:

Waft along the fabled River Nile in time-honored Egyptian style on a private 60-minute 'felucca' boat ride in Cairo. Settle aboard a comfortable, white-sailed '

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