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Stretching above modern Amman at an altitude of 850 meters, the Citadel is a must for all tourists visiting Amman. It used to be the enormous Acropolis of ancient  Philadelphia, the predecessor of the present city.

Surrounded by 1700m-long walls, this complex was more than just a fortresses above the city, in fact it was a standalone entity within the ancient city. History buffs will say that there are plenty of other, much better preserved ancient fortresses throughout the Middle-East. However this one is still definitely worth to be visited, because it enables visitors to understand how an antique Roman and Byzantine settlement was transformed into an Umayyad city. In other words: this monument is simply a summary of  entire Jordanian history.

Published in Amman

According to some speculations, this place could be a Roman shrine of Aphrodite that was converted into a shrine of Mary. In fact the village was mentioned first in 1324 as a popular place of pilgrimage. At that time it was called as "Zenmária" (Szent Mária,  Holy Virgin). The medieval church was destroyed in 1529 by the Turks and it remained a ruin for over 100 years. The church was rebuilt only when it came into the possession of Prince Paul Esterházy. The work was completed by 1680, but  unfortunately it was again destroyed by the Turks in 1683.  The architect Francesco Martinelli was commissioned by the prince in 1695 with the construction of the church that lasted till 1702.

Published in Burgenland