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Qasr al-Abd, Amman

(3.9/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web)
Qasr al-Abd is a large Hellenistic palace from approximately 200 BCE, whose ruins stand in western Jordan in the valley of Wadi Seer, approximately 17 kilometres west of Amman, close to the village of Iraq al-Amir.HistoryAlthough little is known for definite about the history of Qasr al-Abd it is widely believed to have been built by a Tobiad notable, Hyrcanus of Jerusalem, head of the powerful Tobiad family and governor of Ammon. Credence for this theory is gained from the fact that the Hebrew name 'Tuvya' or 'Toviyya' (Tobias) is engraved (טוביה but in a more Aramaic script) above the adjacent burial caves of Iraq al-Amir, which share their name with the nearby village. In another of these caves there is a carving of a lioness sheltering a cub at the palace.According to a local legend, Tobias was a commoner who fell in love with the daughter of a nobleman. When he asked for her hand in marriage, the nobleman said that Tobias could only have her hand if he built the so-called "Castle of the Slave." After completing the castle, the nobleman had Tobias killed as he did not want his daughter marrying a commoner.It is known that the structure was originally surrounded by a large excavated reflecting pool, leading the first-century AD Jewish historian Flavius Josephus to suppose that this was a moat and the building a fortress. However, more recent evidence for the building's original function being as a country pleasure palace has been presented by the contemporary Israeli archaeologist Ehud Netzer. It has also been suggested that the site was in fact intended to serve as a mausoleum of the family of Tobias, the Tobiads. In any case, it was never completed.
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  • Very few kms west of Amman, there are unknown in middle of nowhere ruins, which are an archaeological treasure, is clear that once belonged to a Hellenic Palace of two storeys, still preserves sizes several figures of animals and a portion of columns that at the time would give him glory. We gave this mythical place thanks to our guide, if it was not impossible, in the Highlands of his around there are a series of caves that were inhabited at the time, up to them is a little difficult, you have to overcome some fifty fairly steep stairs. Not worth much.
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  • This place it is a good distinction for Friday afternoon ( 3 hours trip ) but as most of Jordanian locations , its lack of any services 
  • The current building standing just outside Amman in Wadi seer is the best example of Hellenistic architecture in Jordan. The interesting fact about it is that it was not built by the Greeks, rather by...  more »