Discover the Historic Roman Theater in Amman, Jordan

May 14 2024
Amman Jordan roman theater

The Roman theater in Amman, Jordan is an incredible historical landmark that you simply must visit. Nestled in the eastern part of the Jordanian capital, right across from the Amman Citadel, this ancient amphitheater has a fascinating story. It was built to honor Emperor Hadrian, who visited Amman back in 130 AD. Covering a vast area of 7,600 square meters, the theater dates back to the second century AD, specifically between 138 AD and 161 AD, during the reign of Antoninus Pius.

A Marvel of Ancient Architecture

The Amman Jordan Roman theater was designed for musical and theatrical performances, and thanks to its excellent acoustics, it’s still used for shows today. Imagine sitting among 6,000 spectators, just like in ancient times, enjoying a performance with perfect sound clarity. This theater is even larger than the Southern Theater in Jerash, which holds around 4,000 to 5,000 people. The seating is divided into 44 rows across three main sections. The front rows were reserved for the elite and dignitaries, while the second and third sections were for everyone else.

Behind the stage, there are rooms where artists would change and prepare for their performances. The original structure of the theater rises to about three floors, towering over the columns in the arena. At the top of the theater, there’s a small temple carved into the rock, which once housed statues of Roman gods.

Museums and Cultural Treasures

Today, you can explore two small museums on either side of the Roman theater in Amman, Jordan: the Folklore Museum and the Museum of Popular Traditions. The Folklore Museum dives into the evolution of Jordanian life, focusing on rural and nomadic traditions. The Museum of Popular Traditions showcases traditional Jordanian and Palestinian attire and the decorative tools used by women.

Amman: A City of Ancient and Modern Wonders

Amman, the capital of Jordan, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It’s a city where modern buildings blend seamlessly with ancient ruins. Picture gleaming white houses, kebab stalls with roasting meat, and tiny cafes where people sip rich Arabian coffee in the afternoon sunshine – it’s like stepping into a scene from a thousand and one nights.

Archaeologists have uncovered homes and towers from the Stone Age here, and the city is also mentioned in the Bible. Known in the Old Testament as Rabbath-Ammon, it was the capital of the Ammonites around 1200 BC and referred to as “the City of Waters.” During Greco-Roman times in the 3rd century BC, it was renamed Philadelphia after the Ptolemaic ruler Philadelphus. The city later came under various rules until Roman General Pompey annexed Syria, making Philadelphia part of the Decapolis League.

Under Roman influence, Philadelphia was transformed with grand colonnaded streets, baths, an amphitheater, and impressive public buildings. During the Byzantine period, it became the seat of a Christian bishop, leading to the construction of several churches. With the spread of Islam in the 7th century AD, the city’s original name, Amman, was restored.

Modern Amman

Amman’s modern era began in the late 19th century when the Ottomans resettled Circassian emigrants here in 1878. 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 bustling metropolis with over two million residents.

Explore Jordan with Enjoy Jordan

At Enjoy Jordan, we’re passionate about creating unforgettable travel experiences. As a leading travel agency, we specialize in personalized tours that showcase the best of Jordan’s iconic sites, hidden gems, and cultural treasures.

Whether you’re drawn to the ancient wonders of Petra, the breathtaking landscapes of Wadi Rum, or the vibrant city life of Amman, our expert travel consultants will work closely with you to design a tailor-made itinerary that fits your interests and budget.

From exploring the ancient ruins of Jerash and Madaba to trekking through the Dana Biosphere Reserve and floating in the Dead Sea, we offer a diverse range of tours to suit every taste. Our experienced guides provide in-depth insights into Jordan’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty, ensuring an immersive experience.

Let Enjoy Jordan be your trusted partner in discovering the wonders of Jordan. Contact us today to start planning your dream vacation!

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