Way back when the Romans ruled this area, they were so impressed by Amman that they chose the city as the capital of the Roman Empire and renamed it Philadelphia after the Roman ruler Philadelphus. While they were here, they built a lot of impressive things. A few would be the Temple of Hercules at the Amman Citadel. Also, just down the hill, the sole centerpiece of the city, the truly magnificent Roman Theater.
The Theater was built in the 2nd century AD during the reign of Antoninus Pius. The structure is cut into the northern side of a hill to keep the sun off its spectators. It could sit up to 6,000 people on its steep stair-like seating area known as the cavea. Closest to the action sat the rulers and other important government officials. The middle was occupied by the military personnel, and the top tier was where the general public sat. At the very top of the theater was a small shrine with a statue of the Roman Goddess Athena. Tourist can now take a gander at in the Jordan Museum.
In 1957, the Jordanian government began a full restoration of the theater. However, the project, unfortunately, included restoring it with non-original materials. So, it is not an entirely true and accurate restoration. Nevertheless, what we are left with today is still truly impressive. The theater continues to offer all sorts of entertainment nearly 2,000 years later. Indeed the Roman Theater Amman, concerts in the summertime can be a truly wonderful experience for any visitor such as the Al-Balad Music Festival. Check online, at your hotel, or with the local tourist office to see what’s happening while you’re visiting the city.
After you’ve marveled at this timeless work of art, don’t forget to check out the two rooms near the entrance. This is where you’ll find the Jordan Museum of Popular Traditions and the Jordan Folklore Museum. The museum and theater are truly a great combination of history and art that you don’t want to miss out on.
The Roman Theater Amman, hours are 8 a.m. to – 4 p.m., Saturdays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, October through March. Summertime hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., April through September.
The Roman Theatre, Amman, price of admission is 2 Jordanian Dinars which includes the Folklore Museum & Museum of Popular Traditions.; however admission is free with a Jordan Pass.
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