“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Well in this case… “When in Jordan, play as the Romans play.” Downhill from the towering Citadel is Downtown Amman’s Roman Theatre, still very much in tact since it was first built during the reign of Antonius Pius (138-161 CE). Personally I am not too much of a history buff and to be honest had no idea a theatre with the capacity of 6,000 people even existed within this extremely dense city of Amman. It was not until I started a search of all the ‘cool and interesting places to see in Amman, Jordan’ (yes, that is what I actually typed in the search engine) that I came across the must-see tourist attractions of this lovely city. Upon stumbling across this information I became so determined to pack up my camera and sight-see through history that I was living just 15 minutes away from. However, this is what really happened…
Hot, sunny and plain out exhausting could easily describe the ’15 minute’ drive (apparently 15 minutes away means an hour sitting in polluted traffic) to Downtown Amman. Today, of course, our car’s AC decided it was going to take a break and have the stale air coming from the windows do its job. So let’s just say the car ride to Amman’s Roman Theatre was not at all pleasant and it is safe to say probably ruined my appreciation for history until the weather cools off a bit.
Alright, so my state of mind was pretty clouded at the time due to the month of August’s hot intense weather climate. Looking back now and browsing through my pictures I’ve come to realize how beautiful and extraordinary the Romans’ creation really is. Downtown Amman is altogether the daily hustle and bustle that anyone would see if they visited a city that was full of this many people. But as soon as you trek your way past the King Hussein mosque (after admiring its beauty and capturing a few pictures) and continue to push your way through the crowds of smoke and Arabian men attempting to lure you into their shop you will find a piece of history standing right before your eyes.
When it comes to admission expenses I was only required to pay 1 JD (a little less than $2) which will probably be the most affordable price you will pay throughout your entire trip in this city (even less than the taxi fare). Included in the price is admission to two miniature museums which are quite interesting if you like to browse through ancient artifacts and see back in the day wardrobe selections. More than likely there will be beggars aka ‘tourist guides’ that will offer their hosting skills but this really isn’t necessary and although they advertise a variety of different languages they ‘speak’ it is safe to say 99% of the time they only know how to say Hello and Money in that language . Guests in the theatre are allowed to walk around as they please and if you want to hike your way up to the towering top you’re more than welcomed. However, I cannot stress the importance of holding on to the nearest railing or step that’s closest to you since most of the steps are not exactly the modern definition of leveled.
For all you history buffs out there Amman’s Roman Theatre is a must-see. It is not very often history just presents itself to you in tact and just lightly touched by Mother Nature. Although August’s scorching sun may not have allowed me to be as enthused at the time, this definitely qualified as a ‘cool and interesting place in Amman’ that I had searched for to begin with. Perhaps this Spring I will venture to explore the various historical sites also found in Downtown. Has any of your travels not been what you’d imagine they would be?Published in