Jordan’s Desert Castles
Jordan’s Desert Castles lie to the east of Amman and are wonderful examples of early Islamic art and architecture. Visit Amra, Azraq and Kharraneh for a full day tour with a private driver and guide. They feature fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations. Pass through the black basalt desert. T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), spent the winter of 1917 in Qasr Al Azraq and commented that is was ‘‘a blue fort on its rock above the rustling palm”. Azraq is built entirely from black basalt by the Romans, as they looked to secure their eastern-border. Qasr Kharana was built by the Umayyad Caliphs of Damascus in the 7th century A.D, and is one of the best preserved castles of its era in Jordan. Qasr Kharana has 61 rooms over two levels, with Sassanian Persian influences. The highlight of the Jordan Desert Castle tour is Qasr Amra. It again dates from the Umayyad period and also has UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The fresco painting is sublime and feature a range of scenes such as hunting, bathing scenes, history, philosophy, poetry and dancing.