Aqaba On The Red Sea In Jordan
Aqaba, Jordan is the only coastal city in Jordan. Sitting on the banks of the Red Sea, it has a population of 140,000 people. It is a beautiful, clean, modern city with the feel of a small town. With the back drop of bare desert mountains on one side and the Red Sea on the other, you feel like you just stepped out of the world of Star Wars. Aqaba has all the amenities that the sophisticated traveler is accustomed to. The city has several 5 Star hotels and resorts. There are many restaurants and a very interesting shopping area. Aqaba is beautiful! The architecture is magnificent. It is well designed small city!
Within Aqaba are the ruins of churches, castles, and mosques. Ayla, is the remains of the oldest known custom built church in the world. Archaeologists have discovered the foundation of this late Third or early Fourth Century church. This ancient building of mud and brick has been well preserved by the layers of sand that has accumulated over the centuries. Archaeologists have discovered walls that are way over Six feet tall. The church was probably in use for about a century before it was destroyed by an earthquake in the mid to late Fourth Century. If you are interested in the history and ruins of the area, you will not want to miss exploring Ayla.
Just north of the city is Tell Maqus. This is an ancient site dating back to the Chalcolithic period of time in the Fourth Millennium BC. There are signs that this site might have been used for the mining of cooper. It is another one of the historic sites in this amazing Jordanian city. It is a perfect place to take a hike! Explore the site! Immerse yourself in this ancient time.
Another local site to see in Aqaba, is the Mamluk Castle. This castle is from the early 16th Century. There are round stone columns on each side of the entrance of the Castle. The Coat of Arms from the Hashemite family is above the entrance. There are two wooden doors which still function and can be shut to close off the castle. The Mamluk Castle Courtyard is in fantastic condition for a courtyard dating back to the Byzantine period. At this time Aqaba was known as Ayla. This Byzantine city is beautiful. It has been well preserved. Ayla surrendered to the Muslims in the year 630. This is a well kept site and those interested in the History of Aqaba will not want to miss it.
Archaeologists have also discovered the remains of a small city complete with a Mosque. This site has quite a bit of detail to it and many artifacts have been found from the mosque. It dates back to the years of 650-1100 AD. Excavations to date have revealed a mosque, the governors palace, and houses. It is extremely interesting. It is perfect for exploration.
Aqaba Fort is another site built between 1510 and 1517. This fort was used as a travelers inn for those making pilgrimage to Mecca. Aqaba Museum is part of the Fort complex. It is a very nice museum with lots of local history and artifacts. It was originally the home of the great great grandfather of the present King of Jordan, King Abdullah II. Between the resorts and the Marina is the ancient site of historic Ayla and the ancient Port of Aqaba. This is a very fun area to wander and explore. There are many ancient shops, cobblestone streets and fun places in historic Ayla.
Aqaba is the entrance into to Jordan. It is the jumping off point for day trips into the Wadi Rum, Petra, and Little Petra. This is a fascinating region. The people are extremely friendly. The historical ruins in the country are astounding. If you have never experienced a Jordanian Adventure, make this the year you journey to Jordan. If you have gone before, it is a good year to go back. There is too much to see for just one trip!
Gather your passport, pack your bags and book your Jordanian Adventure today. We will meet you in the ancient city of Ayla, on the banks of the Red Sea.
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