Desert castle (just transportation) by Jordan Tours
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This well-preserved castle is located about 16 kilometers west of Qusayr 'Amra and 55 kilometers east of Amman. The spot is marked by an assortment of tall radio pylons on the other side of the highway.
Just south of Amman, Qasr al-Mushatta offers an excellent example of characteristic Umayyad architecture. The castle is an incomplete square palace with elaborate decoration and vaulted ceilings. The immense brick walls of the complex stretch 144 meters in each direction, and at least 23 round towers were nestled along these walls. The palace mosque is sited in the traditional position, inside and to the right of the main entrance. Throughout, there is a powerful symmetry and axiality in the planning, with a tendency for compartmentalization, often into three sections. The vaulting systems are considered essentially Iraqi, but the stonemasonry and carved decoration is Hellenistic. Both influences are modified by their interaction, and this palace presents the most complete fusion of the two traditions in Umayyad architecture
is located just off the main road about 30 kilometers east into the desert from Zarqa. It was originally a Roman fort built during the reign of Caracalla (198-217 CE) to defend against raiding desert tribes. There is evidence that, before Caracalla, Trajan had established a post there on the remains of a Nabatean settlement. During the seventh century CE, the site became a monastery, and the Umayyads then fortified it and decorated it with ornate frescoes and decorative carvings. Two kilometers past Qasr al-Hallabat, heading east, are ruins of the main bathing complex known as Hammam al-Sarah. The baths were once adorned with marble and lavish mosaics. Today, you can still see the channels that were used for hot water and steam
About 13 kilometers north of the Azraq Junction, on the highway to Iraq, you will find the large black fortress of Qasr al-Azraq. The present form of the castle dates back to the beginning of the 13th century CE. Crafted from local black basalt rocks, the castle exploited Azraq's important strategic position and water sources.
Heading back towards Amman on Highway 40, Qusayr 'Amra is about 28 kilometers from Azraq. This is the best preserved of the desert castles, and probably the most charming. It was built during the reign of the Caliph Walid I (705-715 CE) as a luxurious bath house.
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