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The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts
We left the hotel in the morning and our first stop was
this art gallery. It was established in 1980 for the promotion of contemporary
art from the Islamic and developing world.
This is one of the best-known of the desert castles
located in present-day eastern Jordan, 37 miles east of Amman and close to the
border with Saudi Arabia. It is built sometime before the 8th century, based on
a graffiti a upper room. It is one of the earliest examples of Islamic
architecture in the region. It could have been a resting place for caravans and
The best-known desert castles located in eastern
Jordan. It was built between 711 and 715 by Umayyad caliph Walid I who dominated
the region at the time. It is one of the most important examples of early
Islamic art and architecture. What stands today is a small country cabin for
royal retreat most notable for the frescoes over the entire interior, which
depict hunting, naked women and zodiac. It is one of the three UNESCO World
Heritage Site in Jordan.
First a short rest with a cup of tea in a tent (visitor
The bath house and entrance.
Just outside the entrance there is a well that supplied
water to the bathhouse.
The main entry vault has scenes of hunting, fruit and
wine consumption, and naked women. A joint Jordanian-Italian restoration team at
work conserving the mural paintings.
The entrance area is divided into three aisles. To the
left is the reception hall with barrel vault ceiling fresco. The murals to the
far left of the main hall are hunting scenes, while those on the ceiling are of
the builders working on construction.
Left of the entrance is another doorway leading to the
baths. This area is divided into the changing room, warm bath and hot bath.
The changing room, is decorated with scenes of animals performing music. There
is a bear playing the lute while a monkey claps its hands in appreciation.
The next room (warm bath) contains a pool which could
be heated by a nearby furnace and flue system. The wall has a mural showing
women about to bathe a child.
The hot bath's dome has a representation of the heaven,
depicted with zodiac and 35 separate identifiable constellations. The last
painting was mostly damaged, but you can still imagine from the bare feet
pointing at opposite directions...