Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Amman, the capital of Jordan, is some sense a city of contrasts – a mix of the old and new, located on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. It consists of an old and more traditional part called "Downtown" (in Arabic 'Baladi'), and a modern more vibrant western style "West Amman".

In Greco - Roman times, it was known as Philadelphia and was a part of the Greek Decapolis (an alliance of ten free city-states with overall allegiance to Rome. ). Also Amman is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the world. Plus more than half of Jordan's population lives in Amman.

The great temple of Hercules (Herakles) was built between 162-166 AD. Larger than any temple in Rome itself, the massive structure faces east and is seen here from the front (northeast corner.) The temple portico is framed by six 33-foot tall columns.

The Byzantine basilica was constructed in the 5th-6th centuries AD. Its nave is flanked by two rows of columns

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