Amman - Iraq Al-AmirWe’ll begin with a friendly introduction, and a small tour briefing. A detour to Starbucks to pick up your favourite coffee and snacks (on request) will take place after. From there, it’s a short drive (30-40 min) from Amman to Iraq Al-Amir in a luxury car which includes WiFi, sipping coffee and enjoying your selected snacks. Water and soft drinks are provided at no extra cost. There is also an iPhone charger, headphones and you’ll have access to an iPad with an internet connection, and Netflix.
Muallaqat al-DayrMuallaqat al-Dayr (the monastery) is an ancient columbarium (dovecote) more than 7 meter high, divided in two chambers. Its interior displays about 800 triangular niches carved into the walls in three floors, thought to have been to accommodate doves for breeding. A stare-case has been built to reach this site easily, it won't take you more than 5-10 minutes to climb. I will give you a small introduction to the history of this place and show the best spots to take photos.
Al-Bassah Church-CaveAl-Bassah Church. It is a large cave church - closed because of on-going excavations -, and a second church built outside right in front of it. The entrance of the cave can be identified by a facade decorated with a pediment with crosses. The site is called Mugharat al-Kaniseh (Cave of the Church) by the local community. The church outside (21 x 10 m) was built with well-cut limestone ashlars. Clearly identifiable is the apse with its two rows of seats. The floor was covered with mosaics of coloured tesserae. An inscription in old Greek was found on the mosaic floor, translated as "Jesus the saviour from the first and last". You are free to discover this place, at your own pace.
Ancient CavesIraq al-Amir, meaning "Caves of The Prince", is the name not only of the cave system on the northwest side of Wadi al-Seer, but of the whole area and small town in the valley. The fifteen caves in the cliff face have an easy access via stone staircases from the paved road. Six caves are on the lower level, while the nine of the upper level are connected through a 300 m long gallery, from which a spectacular panorama of the landscape can be enjoyed.
Iraq Al Amir Women's AssociationWomen’s Cooperative Association and Handicrafts village. The project, launched in the early 1990s by the Noor al-Hussein Foundation and the Wadi Al-Seer Community Development, trains craft skills of local women and girls, to develop income-generating opportunities. Several historical houses, renovated preserving its unique architectural heritage, host handicraft workshops where women make and sell ceramics, weavings and embroideries, clear soap and chemicals-free paper products, as well as home-made food. You you can visit and shop for hand made souvenirs here, have a coffee or lunch. Bathrooms available to the visitors.
Qasr Al-AbdQasr al-Abd is perhaps the best example of Hellenistic palaces in the Middle East, was built between 182 and 175 BC, on an elevated platform in the middle of an artificial lake. To reach Qasr al-Abd one had to cross a dam and access through an imposing gate. The heavily decorated two-storey stone structure (measuring about 40 metres by 20 metres, and 13 metres high) was built from some of the largest single blocks of any building in the Middle East, with the largest block measuring seven by three metres. You will be dropped off at the entrance gate to discover this amazing site at your own pace. I will give you short introduction into the history and point out some interesting details of the architecture. For photographers, I will advice the best spots to take photos.
Iraq Al-Amir - AmmanTo conclude the tour, we will drive you all the way back to Amman and drop you off at your hotel, where we picked you up. No doubt after a satisfying and inspiring few hours in beautiful Iraq Al-Amir and Jordan’s most famed archaeological sites.