Jordan is a country steeped in rich history and culture, with numerous ancient ruins and castles scattered throughout its landscape. Among these, the Ajloun Castle and Jerash are two of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
The Ajloun Castle, also known as Qala'at ar-Rabad, is an impressive fortress built in the 12th century that offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
On the other hand, Jerash is an ancient Roman city that features some of the best-preserved ruins in the Middle East, including a theater, a hippodrome, and several temples.
In this article, we will explore the best ways to tour Ajloun Castle and Jerash and provide tips on how to plan a day trip to these two incredible sites.
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Ajloun Castle is a medieval castle located in the Ajloun Governorate of Jordan. It was built by the Ayyubids in the 12th century and served as a defensive fortification against the Crusaders. The castle is situated on a hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and is surrounded by lush forests, making it an ideal location for defense.
The history of Ajloun Castle dates back to 1184 AD when it was built by Izz ad-Din Usama bin Munqidh, a prominent military leader of the Ayyubid dynasty. Usama was tasked with defending Jordan from the Crusaders, who were attempting to gain control of the region. To this end, he commissioned the construction of several fortifications across Jordan, including Ajloun Castle.
The castle was designed to be an impregnable fortress, with thick walls and towers that could withstand artillery fire from enemy forces. Its strategic location atop a hill also offered excellent visibility over the surrounding landscape, allowing its defenders to spot approaching enemies from far away. Inside its walls were several chambers and storerooms where food and supplies could be stored in case of siege.
Its impressive water supply system further enhanced the castle's design, allowing easy access to fresh water during siege or drought. This system included two large cisterns which collected rainwater from nearby springs and stored it in underground tanks for later use. The castle also had its well, accessed through a secret tunnel leading directly into one of its chambers.
Throughout its history, Ajloun Castle has been used as both an offensive and defensive stronghold by various rulers throughout the Middle East. During the Mamluk period (1250-1517), it served as an essential base for Mamluk forces fighting against their enemies in Syria and Palestine. Later on, during Ottoman rule (1517-1918), it became part of their defensive network against European invaders attempting to gain control over Jordan's strategic resources, such as oil and minerals.
In modern times, Ajloun Castle has become a popular tourist destination due to its historical significance and stunning views over the valley below. Visitors can explore its many chambers and towers while learning about its rich history through interactive displays inside some of them. There are also several restaurants nearby where visitors can enjoy traditional Jordanian cuisine while admiring views of the surrounding landscape from this majestic fortress.
Ajloun Castle has stood since 1184 AD and is today's important symbol of Jordanian history and culture. Its impressive design has stood up to centuries of wars and invasions, making it one of Jordan's most iconic landmarks that will likely remain standing for centuries and more to come!
The ruins of Jerash are some of the most remarkable and well-preserved ruins in the world. Located in modern-day Jordan, the ruins of Jerash have been around for thousands of years and have seen many different civilizations come and go. The Ammonites first settled the city in the 13th century BC, but in the Roman period, Jerash began to flourish. During this time, it became an important trading center and a major stop along the ancient trade routes that connected Rome to India and China.
The city was built on a hilltop overlooking a fertile plain, surrounded by lush vegetation and abundant water sources. It was divided into two sections: one for public buildings such as temples, theaters, baths, and markets and one for private residences. Its streets were laid out in a grid pattern with colonnaded streets lined with shops and homes. The city also boasted an impressive array of monuments, including temples dedicated to various gods, an amphitheater where plays were performed, fountains, statues, and even an aqueduct that supplied water to the city.
The Roman period marked a golden age for Jerash as it grew rapidly into one of the largest cities in the region. It became known as "the Pompeii of the East" due to its impressive architecture and monuments, rivalling Rome. The city was also home to several wealthy families who built lavish villas decorated with mosaics depicting scenes from Greek mythology.
Unfortunately, all this prosperity ended when Jerash was sacked by invading forces in 749 AD. The city was abandoned for centuries until European travelers rediscovered it in 1806 and were amazed by its well-preserved ruins. Since then, archaeologists have been working hard to uncover more about its history and many fascinating past artefacts, including coins, pottery shards, jewelry pieces, sculptures, mosaics, and even human remains!
Today visitors can explore these ruins, which retain much of their original beauty despite being abandoned for centuries. Many of Jerash's monuments are still standing, including its magnificent colonnaded streets lined with shops and homes; its grand theater where plays were once performed; its Temple of Artemis, which dates back to 150 BC; its oval forum where public gatherings took place; its South Gate which is one of the best preserved Roman gates in existence; as well as many other fascinating sites such as tombs carved into rock faces or underground chambers filled with ancient artifacts!
The ruins of Jerash offer visitors a unique opportunity to explore a lost civilization that once flourished here thousands of years ago! It is truly amazing how much has been preserved over time – from ancient artworks depicting gods and goddesses to intricate mosaics depicting scenes from Greek mythology – providing us insight into life during this period. And although much has been lost over time due to natural disasters or human destruction – what remains is still enough for us to glimpse this incredible past!
Ajlun Castle and Jerash are two of the most popular tourist destinations in Jordan, located within a short distance from Amman, the capital city of Jordan. Ajlun Castle is situated in the Ajloun Governorate, approximately 73 kilometers (45 miles) north of Amman. The castle sits atop a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and provides a breathtaking regional view. It was built in the 12th century by the nephew of the famous Muslim warrior Saladin and played a strategic role in defending the region against the Crusaders.
On the other hand, Jerash is located about 48 kilometers (30 miles) north of Amman in the Gerasa Governorate. It is an ancient Roman city inhabited for over 6,500 years and features some of the best-preserved ruins in the Middle East. The city was once a thriving center of trade and commerce, and its impressive ruins include a large theater, a hippodrome, several temples, and a forum.
Ajlun Castle and Jerash are easily accessible as day trips from Amman, making them popular destinations for tourists and locals. Visitors can take a bus or hire a car to reach these sites, and the journey usually takes around an hour, depending on traffic conditions. The distance between Amman and these two sites makes it possible to visit them on the same day, making for an unforgettable experience of Jordan's rich history and culture.
Travelers looking for a unique and exciting experience should visit Ajloun Castle, and the Jerash ruins in Jordan. Not only are these two sites incredibly beautiful and historically significant, but they offer a unique insight into the culture of Jordan.
Ajloun Castle is located in the north of Jordan and was built by Saladin in 1184 AD. It was constructed to protect the region from Crusader invasions, and it still stands today as a testament to its strength and durability. The castle is surrounded by lush green hills, making it an ideal spot for a picnic or viewing. Visitors can explore the old fortifications, such as the towers, walls, and gateways. Several small museums provide information about the castle's history.
The Jerash ruins are located just south of Ajloun Castle and are one of Jordan's most popular tourist attractions. This ancient city was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC and has been remarkably well-preserved. Visitors can explore its streets, temples, theaters, baths, monuments, and other structures restored to their former glory. It's a great way to get a feel for what life was like during this period.
In addition to being visually stunning sites with plenty of fascinating history to learn about, Ajloun Castle and Jerash ruins also allow travellers to experience Jordanian culture first-hand. Both locations offer traditional Jordanian food and souvenirs from local artisans to help you remember your visit for years. Visiting these sites gives travelers an appreciation for how much Jordanian culture has remained unchanged despite the changes in other parts of the world.
Ajloun Castle and Jerash Ruins are two of Jordan's most popular tourist destinations, offering visitors a glimpse into the country's rich history and culture. Here are some of the activities that travelers can experience at these sites:
Overall, Ajloun Castle and Jerash Ruins offer a range of activities for travelers of all ages and interests. These sites will leave a lasting impression if you're interested in history, culture, nature, or cuisine.
Visiting Ajloun Castle and the Jerash ruins is a fantastic experience that should not be missed. The best time to see these two sites is spring or fall. During these seasons, temperatures are mild and comfortable, making it a great time to explore the area and take in the sights.
In the spring, Ajloun Castle and Jerash ruins come alive with vibrant colors as flowers bloom and trees come into full bloom. This is a great time to explore the area, as temperatures are usually mild and comfortable. You can also enjoy some of the local food available during this season.
The fall is also a great time to visit Ajloun Castle and Jerash ruins. During this season, temperatures are cooler than in the spring, but still comfortable exploring. The landscape is beautiful during this time of year, with leaves changing from green to yellow, red, orange, and brown. This makes for some stunning views while you explore the area.
No matter what season you visit Ajloun Castle and Jerash ruins in, you will have an amazing experience you will remember. Both sites offer incredible views of Jordan's countryside, and plenty of activities for visitors, such as hiking trails, horseback riding tours, camel rides, bird watching tours, hot air balloon rides over Ajloun Castle or Jerash ruins and much more!
When visiting Ajloun Castle or Jerash ruins, it's important to have enough time to explore both sites thoroughly to ensure you get all their unique features or attractions. It's also important to remember that both sites can get quite crowded during peak times, so plan your trip accordingly if possible. Additionally, it's always a good idea to bring plenty of water when visiting either site since temperatures can get quite hot during certain times of the year!
The cost of visiting Ajloun Castle and Jerash ruins in Jordan varies depending on a few factors, such as nationality, age, and whether you hire a guide.
For Ajloun Castle, the entry fee for foreigners is 3 Jordanian dinars (about $4 USD), while the price for Jordanian residents is only 1 Jordanian dinar (about $1.40 USD). Children under the age of 15 can enter for free. If you wish to hire a local guide to show you around the castle, it will cost you an additional fee of around 10-20 Jordanian dinars (about $14-28 USD), depending on the duration of the tour.
For Jerash ruins, the entry fee for foreigners is 10 Jordanian dinars (about $14 USD), while the cost for Jordanian residents is only 1 Jordanian dinar (about $1.40 USD). Children under the age of 15 can enter for free. There is an additional fee of 2 Jordanian dinars (about $3 USD) if you wish to enter the Jerash Archaeological Museum located within site. If you decide to hire a guide, the cost will be around 50 Jordanian dinars (about $70 USD) for a two-hour tour.
It is worth noting that these fees are subject to change, so it is advisable to check with the relevant authorities or tour operators for the latest information. Additionally, some tour operators may offer packages that include transportation, entrance fees, and a guide, so it may be worthwhile to compare prices and options before deciding.
The best way to get to Ajloun Castle and Jerash ruins depends on your preferences and budget. Here are some options to consider:
Private car or taxi: You can hire a private car or taxi from Amman to Ajloun Castle and Jerash ruins. This option is more expensive but offers the most flexibility and comfort. You can arrange for a driver to pick you up from your hotel or a specific location in Amman, and they will take you directly to the sites. You can negotiate the price with the driver beforehand or book a taxi through a ride-hailing app like Careem or Uber.
Public transportation: You can take a public minibus from Amman to Ajloun and Jerash. The buses leave the Abdali bus station in Amman and go directly to Ajloun and Jerash. This option is cheaper than hiring a private car or taxi, but it may take longer and be less comfortable.
Guided tour: If you prefer a hassle-free experience, you can book a tour that includes transportation, entrance fees, and a guide. Many tour operators in Amman offer day trips to Ajloun Castle and Jerash ruins, and they can pick you up from your hotel or a central location in Amman. This option is more expensive than public transportation, but it offers the convenience of a knowledgeable guide and a pre-planned itinerary.
Regardless of which option you choose, starting early in the day is recommended to avoid the crowds and the midday heat.
Visiting Ajloun Castle and the Jerash ruins in Jordan is a great way to explore the region's rich history and culture. But how safe is it to visit these sites? With the right precautions, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Safety is always a concern when traveling, especially when visiting unfamiliar places. When visiting Ajloun Castle and Jerash ruins, taking some basic safety measures is important. First, travelling in groups or with a guide who knows the area well is best. This will help you stay safe while navigating the sites and surrounding areas.
It's also important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Be mindful of suspicious activity or people lurking around the castle or ruins. It's also essential to avoid off-limits areas that may be dangerous for tourists.
When visiting these sites, it's also important to dress appropriately. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or clothing that could attract attention from potential thieves or criminals. Sticking neutral colors and comfortable clothing that will draw only a little attention is best.
It's also important to keep your valuables secure when visiting Ajloun Castle and Jerash ruins. Keep your passport, wallet, and other important items close at hand in a secure bag or pocket so they won't get lost or stolen while you're exploring the sites.
Finally, it's always wise to check in with local authorities before visiting Ajloun Castle and Jerash ruins to ensure no safety concerns. Local authorities will be able to provide valuable information about potential safety hazards as well as any restrictions on visitors at the sites themselves.
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