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You are hereMajor Attractions > As-Salt
> As-Salt's Ottoman past is clearly visible in it's architecture.
As-Salt

An ancient town, As-Salt was once the most important settlement in the area between the Jordan Valley and the Eastern Desert. Because of its history as an important trading link between the Eastern Desert and the west, it was a significant place for the region’s many rulers.

The Romans, Byzantines and Mameluks all contributed to the growth of the town but it was at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, during Ottoman rule, when As-Salt enjoyed its most prosperous period.

It was at that time that the Ottomans established a regional administrative base in As-Salt and encouraged settlement from other parts of their empire. As the town’s status increased, many merchants arrived and, with their newly acquired wealth, built the fine houses that can still be admired in As-Salt today.

Take a walk around the old town and explore the narrow streets. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes as the town is quite hilly and there are many steps. During the summertime be sure to wait until the end of the day to explore.

These splendid yellow sandstone buildings incorporate a variety of local and European styles. Typically, they have domed roofs, interior courtyards, and characteristic tall, arched windows. Perhaps the most beautiful is the Abu Jaber mansion, built between 1892 and 1906, which has frescoed ceilings, painted by Italian artists, and is reputed to be the finest example of a 19th century merchant house in the region.

Tightly built on a cluster of three hills, As-Salt has several other places of interest, including Roman tombs on the outskirts of town, and the Citadel and site of the town’s early 13th century Ayyubid fortress, which was built by al- Ma’azzam Isa, the nephew of Saladin, soon after 1198 AD. There is also a small museum and a handicraft school where you can admire the traditional skills of ceramics, weaving, silk-screen printing and dyeing.

As-Salt’s Archaeological & Folklore Museum displays artefacts dating back to the Chalcolithic period and up to the Islamic era, as well as other items relating to the history of the area. In the folklore museum there is a good presentation of Bedouin and traditional costumes and everyday folkloric items.

As-Salt is just a half hour drive from the city of Amman.



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As a result of its history as an Ottoman centre of government, As-Salt features many fine examples of classic Ottoman architecture.

As-Salt is the most historic town in Jordan. For long periods in history it was the most important settlement between the Jordan River and the desert to the east.

The ancient town of As-Salt was once the capital of Jordan.

As-Salt houses a Handicrafts School, where you can admire traditional skills of ceramics, weaving, silk-screen printing and dyeing.

The dried white grapes commonly known as sultanas, took their name from As-Salt, where they have been grown for centuries. Raisins and grapes were amongst the produce exported from As-Salt to Palestine during Ottoman times.