- The Holy Land; A Land of Treasure, History and Beauty -
"When I first told my friends I was traveling to Jordan they thought I was crazy. When I then told them that I was bringing them along, they tried everything they could to come up with an excuse not to go. I dragged them there, and then a funny thing happened. Five days later, they tried everything they could… ... ...to stay.
They discovered what I already knew-->
Jordan: Magical Mystical Tour (www.visitjordan.com)
Amman, the modern and ancient capital of Jordan, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the World. It is a fascinating city of contrasts- a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. Some visitors cliam to have spent the most memorable days of their lives here in the land that the holy scriptures repeatedly designate as a place of peace and refuge for Ruth, Elijah, David, Jesus, Jacob, Moses, John the Baptist and where the first Christian communities found safety and peace.
The city's modern buildings blend with the remnants of ancient civilizations. The profusion of gleaming white houses, kebab stalls with roasting meat, and tiny cafes where rich Arabian coffee is sipped in the afternoon sunshine, conjure a mood straight from a thousand and one nights.
Recent excavations have uncovered homes and towers believed to have been built during the Stone Age with many references to it in the Bible.
Amman was known in the Old Testament as Rabbath-Ammon, the capital of the Ammonites around 1200 BC, it was also referred to as "the City of Waters".
In Greco-Roman times in the 3rd century BC, the City was renamed Philadelphia (Greek for "The Brotherhood Love") after the Ptolemaic ruler Philadelphus (283-246 BC). The City later came under Seleucid as well as Nabataean rule until the Roman General Pompey annexed Syria and made Philadelphia part of the Decapolis League - a loose alliance of ten free city-states, bound by powerful commercial, political, and cultural interests under overall allegiance to Rome.
Under the influence of the Roman culture, Philadelphia was reconstructed in typically grand Roman style with colonnaded streets, baths, an Amphitheater, and impressive public buildings.
The Temple of Hercules.
During the Byzantine period, Philadelphia was the seat of a Christian Bishop, and therefore several churches were built. The city declined somewhat until the year 635 AD. As Islam spread northwards from the Arabian Peninsula, the land became part of its domain. Its original Semitic name Ammon or Amman was returned to it.
Amman's modern history began in the late 19th Century, when the Ottomans resettled a colony of Circassian emigrants in 1878. As the Great Arab Revolt progressed and the State of Transjordan was established, Emir Abdullah ibn Al-Hussein founder of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan made Amman his capital in 1921. Since then, Amman has grown rapidly into a modern, thriving metropolis of well over two million people.
The Dead Sea ("The Salt Sea") is the lowest place on earth, roughly 1,300 feet (400 meters) below sea level. It is 34 miles (55 km.) long and varies between 11 miles (18 km.) and 2 miles (3 km.) in width. The Sea is 1,400 feet (430 m.) deep. This unique sea is fed by the Jordan River. There is no outflow; and the exceptionally high rate of evaporation (high temperatures, low humidity) produces large quantities of raw chemicals. These are extracted and exported throughout the world for use in medicine, agriculture and industry.
South of JORDAN
( PETRA - TREASURY ) - The Famous Rose-red Nabatean city of Petra
Petra (Greek, meaning rock) is a historic and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that has rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of theNabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourism attraction. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra was chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007 and a World Heritage Site since 1985. Petra was chosen by the BBC as one of "the 10 places you have to see before you die".
The site remained unknown to the Western World until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" in a Newdigate Prize-winning sonnet by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage."
-WADI RUM -
Wadi Rum is like the moon scape of ancient valleys and towering weathered sandstone mountains rising out of the white and pink colored sands. Much of David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" was filmed there and it was also the location where T. E. Lawrence himself was based during the Arab Revolt.
A desert police fort is located at the entrance to Wadi Rum, where the police are not mounted on horse or jeep, but on camels--ships of desert.
Today Wadi Rum challenges climbers to scale its sheer granite and sandstone cliffs, to hike along mountain trails and valleys, to trek deep into the enchanting landscape in four wheel drive vehicles, or to join two or three day desert safaris on camel back or 4x4 vehicles.
Stunning in its natural beauty, Wadi Rum epitomizes the romance of the desert. Now the home of several Bedouin tribes, Wadi Rum has been inhabited for generations. These hospitable and friendly desert people are settled around the 'Beau Geste' Camel Corps Fort in Wadi Rum, and in scattered nomadic camps throughout the area. You may be invited to share mint tea or cardamom coffee in there black tents, perhaps sitting by the fire under a starry desert sky it is an experience you will never forget.
Aqaba (Red Sea)
For relaxation, water sports, and winter warmth, Aqaba is warm, sunny and inviting, fringed with palm trees, lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Aqaba, cooled by a steady northerly breeze, and ringed by mountains that change in color with the change of the hours. Snorkeling, water skiing, wind surfing, para-sailing, fishing and a variety of other water sports, including unsurpassed scuba diving are just some of the popular activities to partake in.
It is the secrets these waters hold that makes Aqaba unique, for further down the coast are a dazzling undersea world of some of the most spectacular coral reefs to be found anywhere in the world. Often over many hundreds of meters wide, the reef is made up of many delicately hued corals among which live a myriad of brilliantly colored fish. Contrary to what many people think, corals are not plants but very delicate animals. Due to their slow rate of growth (about 1 cm/year), the corals that are seen today in the Gulf are centuries old.
So Jordan offers venues that cannot be duplicated anywhere in the world for special events and theme parties. We invite you to browse through (Jordan Tourism Board of North America: www.seejordan.org and learn all about the astounding sites in the country, the capital Amman, the magnificent Nabatean city of Petra, the spectacular and best preserved Greco-Roman ruins of Jarash, the world famous Wadi Rum, the roman city of Um Qais overlooking sea of Galili.
Experience the biblical Jordan by visiting Bethany - Beyond - Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus, Mount Nebo where Moses stood one day.
We highly encourage you to come and see the beauty of the Kingdom's treasures and experience the splendor that has dazzled visitors for centuries.
For another amazing tour through Jordan, check the Video Gallery at www.visitjordan.com by clicking here...