Located in the center of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Amman is both the country’s capital and its biggest and most populated city. Inhabited since prehistorical period, biblical Amman was capital of Ammonites, and later, named Philadelphia, it was a member of the Decapolis.
Amman and the Decapolis
Decapolis was a term used to describe a group of ten cities in the southern Levant that were culturally were affiliated during the Roman period. These cities were all centers of Greek and Roman culture and were well supported by the Romans. Some of these cities exist to this day, and some have become archaeological sites. Six of these cities are today in Jordan (Gerasa, Gadara, Pella, Amman, Capitolias, and Raphana). Two are in Syria (Damascus and Canatha), and two in Israel (Beit-Shean and Hippos-Sussita).
In the 19th century Amman’s population was merely 500 residents. Established as Jordan’s capital in 1946, today Amman’s population is over 4 million.
Most of Amman’s historical landmarks are in the city center. It’s historical citadel bears remains of a Roman-era Temple to Hercules, and a palace from the Umayyad period. Other sites of interest are the new Jordan Museum (opened in 2014) and Amman’s Roman-era theater. Car fans will also appreciate a visit to the Royal Automobile Museum, based mostly on king Hussein car collection. Amman is also known for its myriad of cafes and restaurants, from authentic Makluba and Jordanian coffee, to international fusion kitchens with top-notch service.
A tour of Amman can be combined with a multi-day tour of Jordan.