Umm El Jimal

In the midst of the desert expanse of Northern Jordan, Umm el-Jimal appears as an oasis of black stone emerging from the flat, dusty plains. Located 85 km outside of Amman, this city’s history stretches back at least 2000 years. The remarkable ruins of this city built of basalt stones will surprise you with its tranquility and picturesque surroundings. When you arrive, a unique experience will begin, and you will find yourself spellbound by the expanse of black stones and buildings that still stand after hundreds of years. To begin your journey through history, you can take a path within the archaeological site that features several interpretation panels telling the story of the place and explaining many of the buildings and features. With these detailed signs in place, you don’t need a guide to tell you the remarkable story of this site.

The unique buildings of the city include more than 16 churches, 3 mosques, the remains of a Roman fort built for the protection of the city, and a number of official buildings, the most famous of which is the State House, the residence of Umm el-Jimal’s ruler. There are also many residential houses, some of which rise up to five stories tall and are elegantly decorated with arches and pillars, with detailed inscriptions on their facades. You can also see the genius of the ancient inhabitants, who supplied the city with water through an advanced irrigation system and built more than 35 reservoirs and several wells to provide water throughout the year.

When visiting Umm el-Jimal, you must get to know the craft of basalt stone carving/rock art. You can learn about this unique activity from a number of women from the town surrounding the archaeological site. The true flavor of your visit will come from the local people, who greet you with a smile and offer the best local cuisine homemade by the women of the town and served in a family atmosphere that will make you feel right at home.

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