Jordan’s location in the geographical “near east” has exposed the country to dozens of civilizations over the course of history. Over the last three thousand years alone this region has experienced the coming and going of the Persian, Greek, Roman, Nabataean, Byzantine, and Ottoman — to name a few — empires, the legacies of which are often still visible today.
While not technically in Jordan, Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock is basically just a stone’s throw away from Amman (pun intended). Not only is this shrine capped with a golden dome, covered in vibrant Ottoman-era tilework, and adorned with elegant Arabic calligraphy, it also boasts an impressive resume of sacred claims to fame.
The Nabataeans were a tribe who became filthy rich on the trade of frankincense, myrrh, and spices in the Arabian peninsula around 2,000 years ago. They built Petra as the capital of their flourishing civilization. Hauntingly beautiful stone facades standing one hundred meters tall are amazingly intact and well preserved to this day.