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Qasr al-Abd, Amman
(3.9/5 based on 25+ 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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TripAdvisor
  • If you are having time in the capital Amman for sure you can go there and make sure to pick up a lovely sunny day to enjoy the nature walking and the old castle , a small castle :) for sure you ll lov...  more »
  • After a rather long drive through the traffic of Amman my friend and I arrived at this rather deserted but absolutely amazing little archaeological gem. The location is lovely. The details on the wall...  more »
  • A sensational find ! Beautiful, well preserved building in a rustic valley. Some stunning carvings on top and on the sides. Should be on any tourist's list.