Eastern Desert, 140 km northeast of Amman

4th Century AD

Residents – FREE
Non-residents – FREE

NO

North 32° 16′ 51″
East 36° 50′ 17″

4.1/5

Qasr Deir Al-Kahf

The great basalt fort of Deir Al-Kahf is located on the north side of the highway that stretches from Mafraq to the Iraqi border and about 45 km from Qasr Azraq. Built in the 4th century and historically situated on the Strata Diocletiana between Azraq and Bostra, it is another purpose-built Roman fort, a site of considerable importance that primarily served as a sentry post. Like its famous neighbour Umm al-Jimal, Deir Al-Kahf is also constructed of black basalt, though the ruins here are not nearly as extensive.

An entrance has now been made in the west wall, but the original entrance, where a huge basalt gate is embedded in the ground, was in the east. The fort is about 60 m square with corner towers and two interval towers in the north and west walls. The walls are 1.5 m. (5 ft) thick and still rise in places to some 7.5 m. (25 ft). The curved line of the apse of a church added at a later stage can just be seen in the courtyard near the plastered cistern.

Around the courtyard were two storeys of some 100 rooms on two floors (three in the towers) which would have been adequate accommodation for a 500-strong cohort at least. In the south wall a small postern, now blocked, led to a walled and covered cistern. A Greek inscription found over the lintel here referred to the prefect Agrippa. There are other cisterns and pools found in the neighbourhood which provided an additional supply of water. The fort appears to have been abandoned in the late 5 century for unknown reasons.

It is certainly off the tourist routes but well worth a visit and If you decide to do so today, a local guide can be hired for a small amount (1 or 2 JOD) to show you around and tell more about the history of this fort.

SHARE

Timeline of Qasr Deir Al-Kahf History

3rd Century AD

Roman Period

First built in the 3rd century AD by Romans as a fort.
3rd Century AD
8th Century AD

Umayyad Period

Later during Umayyad Period, Qasr Deir Al-Kahf is known to have been used as a caravan stop.
8th Century AD
21st Century AD

Present Time

Due to its proximity to Amman and other popular tourist destinations, Qasr Deir Al-Kahf is not often visited by tourists but is recommended to pass by if you are on your way to Jawa.
21st Century AD

Nearby Attractions

Dair Al-Kinn is situated 11 km northeast of Qasr Deir Al-Kahaf. Unfortunately other than scanty remains on the ground …
7 km past Deir Al-Kinn, Jawa’s massive black basalt walls loom on a steep, rocky ledge alongside the Wadi Rajil …

Roman Forts

Available Tours

Expedition to JAWA and Umm El-Jimal

Expedition to JAWA and Umm El-Jimal

from $225 (160 JOD)

Fixed price per group (1-3 travellers)
Rating:
5/5

We offer private, small group (1-3 travellers) tours to selected destinations in Jordan from Amman. At the moment, we do not have any available tours to [page_title]. If you are interested in visiting [page_title] and the area, please send us a message below for a custom quote.

Qasr Deir Al-Kahf Reviews

PHOTO Gallery