To the east of Amman lie several qasrs (castles), most built between the seventh and eights centuries under the Umayyad Caliphate. These important examples of early Islamic architecture contain fine frescoes and mosaics, and stand isolated amidst sun-beaten sands. UNESCO-listed Qasr Amra is among the smallest but best preserved. Enter the domed interior and you’re greeted by ceiling frescoes that are over 1,000 years old. The artwork depicts hunters, kings, nude women, heaven, constellations and the zodiac.
Located just off the King’s Highway, the 12th-century castles of Shobak and Kerak are stunning examples of Christian Crusader fortifications, built atop rocky outcrops with commanding views across the countryside.