Jordan sits at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, and Africa. It’s also a place that has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic (in other words, a very long time ago).
Like any other country with a long history, Jordan is home to several sites considered by UNESCO as important to cultural or natural heritage.
Currently, the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Jordan total to five, and they are:
5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Jordan
This is a city that is both a treasure in terms of its historical and archaeological value.
Located in southern Jordan, it is described by UNESCO as “half-built, half-carved into the rock.” Surrounded by mountains with several gorges and passages, the site of this place inspires awe. It did back then and that assessment remains true today.
Settled by a group of nomadic Arabs called Nabataeans in the 4th century, the place was a major trade route during the Hellenistic and Roman times. During that period, this was where one could find Arabian incense, Chinese silk, and Indian spices.
The Hellenistic architectural facades and Nabataean rock-cut temple and tombs highlight the rich history of the area.
Located in eastern Jordan, this desert castle is one of the best-preserved in the country. It was built in the early 8th century to serve as a fortress and residence of the Umayyad caliphate.
The reception hall and the hammam are the most outstanding features thanks to a series of richly decorated figurative murals, all of which depict the secular art of the time. However, it’s not all secular art as some Islamic architecture can also be found.
Qusweir Amra was one of many created in this area of Jordan (in the east of Amman). It was built for a purpose: to interact with the Wadi Batum area.
Built as a military camp by the Romans, this site in Madaba became a settlement by the 5th century. The area was settled successively by those of the Christian and Islamic faith.
Although it is largely not excavated, it does have remains from the Roman, Byzantine, and Early Muslim periods (around the end of the 3rd century to the 9th century). There are also 16 churches in this area, some of which have the best-preserved mosaic floors.
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A mixed natural and cultural site, this protected area that stretches 74,000 hectares is a varied desert landscape. Here, one can find natural arches, towering cliffs, and narrow gorges – all representing a changing and still ongoing landscape evolution.
Archaeological remains, petroglyphs, and inscriptions point to 12,000 years of occupation, as well as showcase the evolution of human thought.
Baptism Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan”
This is the most recent addition to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Jordan, having been added in 2015. Located nine kilometers north of the Dead Sea, this is believed to be the location of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist.
It is comprised of two distinct areas: Tell Al-Kharrar (also Jabal Mar-Elias or Elijah’s Hill) and an area near the river with churches of Saint John the Baptist.
Jordan is one of the places on earth that was settled a long time ago. People who lived there left behind many wonderful structures that show just how rich their culture was, and some of these places, along with other natural wonders, are on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. If you can, it’s absolutely worth it to see them.
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