A Complete Guide to Ajloun Castle and Jerash: What to See, Do, and Where to Stay
Introduction to Ajloun Castle and Jerash
Ajloun Castle and Jerash are two of the most mesmerizing locations in Jordan. Ajloun Castle, also known as Qalaat Ar-Rabad, is a stunning fortress built in the 12th century and stands tall over the Ajloun Mountains. It was primarily built to protect the country from the Crusaders and served its purpose to the fullest.
On the other hand, Jerash is an ancient Roman city located in the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley. It is home to some of the world's most well-preserved and impressive Roman ruins. The city was a hub for trade and commerce in ancient times, and the magnificent buildings and columns reveal the city's rich heritage.
Ajloun Castle and Jerash are located in the northern part of Jordan, about 30 km apart. These sites perfectly represent Jordan's rich history and are a must-visit for anyone travelling to the region.
Visitors to both locations will be in awe of the stunning architectural beauty of both Ajloun Castle and Jerash. The towering walls of the castle, ancient columns, and elaborate mosaics in Jerash reveal the skill, craftsmanship, and artistry of the region's ancient cultures.
Apart from the stunning architecture, visitors can also indulge in the local culture of Jordan while visiting Ajloun Castle and Jerash. Tourists can explore the traditional handicrafts and souvenirs available in the local markets, sample the local cuisine, and interact with the friendly locals known for their hospitality.
Ajloun Castle and Jerash are the perfect destinations for a cultural and historical experience. These ancient locations' sheer beauty and significance are undeniable and will leave visitors with an unforgettable experience. Anyone who visits Jordan should make it a priority to add these two beautiful locations to their itinerary.
History and Significance of Ajloun Castle
Ajloun Castle is a breathtaking fortress that sits atop one of the highest hills in northern Jordan. The castle dates back to the 12th century and was built by the famous Islamic scholar Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi, also known as Saladin. It is said that Saladin built the fortress to protect the region from the Crusaders, who had successfully taken over much of the Holy Land.
Ajloun Castle is a powerful reminder of Jordan's rich history and the many different cultures that have left their mark on this beautiful land. Throughout the centuries, the castle has served as a strategic stronghold for several rulers, including the Islamic Ayyubid dynasty, the Mamluks, and the Ottoman Turks.
During the Ottoman period, Ajloun Castle was extensively renovated and expanded. The Ottomans recognized the castle's strategic importance and turned it into a key military base. They also built several watchtowers and other fortifications around the castle to increase its defensive capabilities further.
Today, Ajloun Castle is one of Jordan's most popular tourist attractions, drawing visitors from all over the world who marvel at its impressive architectural features and learn more about its rich history. A visit to Ajloun Castle provides a fascinating glimpse into the country's past and offers a unique perspective on the many different cultures that have shaped Jordan's rich cultural heritage.
In addition to its historical significance, Ajloun Castle is also a stunning example of medieval Islamic architecture. The castle features several impressive defensive features, including a moat, drawbridges, and high walls. Visitors can explore the various rooms and passageways inside the castle, including the barracks, stables, and storage rooms.
Ajloun Castle is also home to several interesting exhibits and displays that provide further insight into the castle's history and cultural significance. Visitors can learn more about the Islamic military tactics used to protect the castle and the surrounding region and the various rulers who have called Ajloun Castle home over the centuries.
Overall, visiting Ajloun Castle is a must for anyone interested in exploring Jordan's rich history and culture. Whether you are a history buff or simply looking for a unique and memorable vacation experience, Ajloun Castle will leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.
History and significance of Jerash
Jerash is a city in Jordan known for its ancient history and architecture. The city was originally settled in the Neolithic era and has since been inhabited by many different civilizations. Its name comes from the Semitic word for "grain," as it was an important agricultural centre in the ancient world.
The city peaked during the Roman period when it was known as Gerasa. It became a hub of trade and commerce, with merchants travelling all over the Mediterranean to buy and sell goods. The city was also known for its impressive architecture, including a massive theatre that could seat up to 15,000 people.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Jerash continued to thrive under the Byzantine Empire. Many of the city's buildings were modified or repurposed during this time, including the theatre (converted into a fortress) and the Temple of Zeus (turned into a church).
Jerash eventually fell into decline and was largely abandoned by the 16th century. It was rediscovered by European travellers in the 1800s and restored in the 20th century. Today, it is one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the world and a major tourist attraction in Jordan.
Visitors to Jerash can explore the ancient Roman ruins, including the aforementioned theatre and the Temple of Zeus. They can also see the city's Byzantine-era churches, fortifications, and smaller structures like the Nymphaeum (a fountain dedicated to the nymphs).
Overall, Jerash is a fascinating window into the ancient world. Its history spans thousands of years, and its architecture and culture reflect the countless civilizations that have called it home over the centuries. Anyone interested in history, archaeology, or architecture will find plenty to love in this remarkable city.
Getting to Ajloun Castle and Jerash
Getting to Ajloun Castle and Jerash is easy and convenient due to their proximity to major transportation centres and popular tourist hotspots.
To reach both locations, tourists can choose between different modes of transportation, such as buses, taxis, private cars or organized tours. The journey from Amman, the capital of Jordan, to Ajloun is approximately one hour, while the journey from Ajloun to Jerash is about thirty minutes.
The most convenient and comfortable way to get to Ajloun Castle and Jerash is by hiring a private car that comes with a driver. This will save you time and energy, as well as ensure that you can explore both locations without any difficulty. Private cars can be booked in advance through travel agencies or on-site from rental car companies.
Alternatively, public transportation is affordable and viable for tourists who want to experience the local way of life. Buses depart from Amman regularly to Ajloun and Jerash. The price range is between 3 and 5 JD, depending on the type of bus and the distance covered.
Taxis are also available but are considerably more expensive than public transportation. It is essential to negotiate on the price before starting your journey. One thing to note is that taxi prices are not fixed in Jordan, so it's best to have a rough idea of the fare before getting into one.
Organized tours are also available that include transportation, guided tours, and meal options. This mode of transportation is suitable for tourists who want to indulge in a more hassle-free, curated travel experience without worrying about logistics and timings.
Getting to Ajloun Castle and Jerash is a relatively easy and seamless experience, with several transportation options to suit travel needs and preferences. By choosing the appropriate mode of transportation, tourists can make the most of their visit, explore the wonders of the ancient cities of Ajloun and Jerash and have a memorable experience in Jordan.
Opening hours and admission fees for Ajloun Castle and Jerash
When planning a visit to Ajloun Castle and Jerash, one important piece of information to consider is their opening hours and admission fees. Knowing these details before your trip can help you plan your itinerary more effectively and avoid surprises when you arrive.
Ajloun Castle is open daily from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, with the last admission at 3:30 pm. The admission fee for foreigners is 3 Jordanian dinars (JD), which is approximately $4.23 USD at the current exchange rate. Visitors who hold the Jordan Pass can enter Ajloun Castle for free, as it is included in the pass.
On the other hand, Jerash has different opening hours depending on the season. The site is open from 7:30 am to 7:00 pm from April to September, with the last admission at 6:00 pm. The site is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm from October to March, with the last admission at 4:00 pm. The admission fee for foreigners is 10 JD (approximately $14.10 USD) for adults and 5 JD (approximately $7.05 USD) for children under 15. Like Ajloun Castle, visitors with the Jordan Pass can enter Jerash for free.
It's worth noting that these opening hours and admission fees may change without notice, so it's always a good idea to double-check before your visit. This can be done by checking the official websites of the sites or contacting them directly.
In addition, it's important to remember that Ajloun Castle and Jerash are popular tourist destinations, so it's advisable to arrive early to avoid crowds and make the most of your visit. Comfortable walking shoes and sun protection are also recommended, as both sites require a fair amount of walking and can get sunny and hot during the day.
Regarding accommodations, there are several options near Ajloun Castle and Jerash, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury hotels. Some popular choices include the Ajloun Hotel, the Olive Branch Hotel in Ajloun and the Mariam Hotel, and the Cedar Hotel in Jerash. It's recommended to book your accommodations in advance, particularly during peak tourist season, to secure your preferred dates and rates.
Understanding the opening hours and admission fees for Ajloun Castle and Jerash is an important part of planning your trip to these historical and cultural sites in Jordan. Whether you're a history buff or simply interested in exploring new places, visiting these two sites will surely be a memorable experience.