Jordan's Desert Castles
Jordan's desert castles are beautiful examples of both early Islamic art and architecture. They stand testament to a fascinating era in the country's rich history. Their fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations were inspired by the best in Persia and Greece. These feature stories of life as it was during the eighth century, and offer an intriguing window into the past.
The benefit of the castles being located in the desert served various purposes, such as caravan stations and outposts that helped distant rulers forge ties with local Bedouins. Qusair Amra, which is one of the best preserved monuments, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its interior walls and ceilings are covered with lively frescoes, and two of the rooms are paved with colourful mosaics. The black basalt fort at Azraq, has been in continuous use since Late Roman times, was the headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia during the Arab Revolt.