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Home >> The Desert Castles

The Desert Castles

The Desert Castles, which were built mostly under the Umayyads’ period (661-750 AD), stand as evidence to the beginnings of Arab architectural civilization.

They are located east of Amman, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Different assumptions were made about the main function of these original monuments of early Islamic art residences, weekend cottages, caravanserais, or hunting lodges for the Omayyad rulers, they were also used as the domain of Omayyad princes in the 8th Century. One of the other possibilities of their use is that they used them to control the path from Damascus to Mecca.

 Qasr al-Kharanah

This is one of only two of Jordan’s Desert castles, which seems to be built for defense. But here this may be more apparent than real; the ‘arrow-slits’ are too high and small and must have been for air and light. Nor was it a caravanserai as it is not where the Umayyad rulers could meet with Bedouin of the desert, to negotiate their support.

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