Qasr al-Kharrana

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Kharana, which derives its name from the harra (adjacent gravel plains), rules imposingly over a harsh and desolate moonscape that seems unsuitable for human habitation. But within, the interior courtyard offers a tranquil, secure area that even the wind cannot enter. The starkness of its internal structure contrasts with the stern presence of its façade. The Qasr's entrance hall is flanked by two domed chambers that serve as stables and storage spaces. There is no proof that the menacing two-story structure, which has what appear to be circular, defensive turrets and small arrow slits, was ever meant to serve as a fort despite its castle-like look.

On the inside, the structure features 60 rooms spread across two levels built around a central courtyard with a rainwater pool in the middle. These rooms are likely what visiting delegations used as conference rooms.

The long chambers on either side of the arched entry were used as stables, and there was a catchment area for rainfall in the middle of the courtyard. Surprisingly, despite the walls appearing to be substantial, the interior is significantly smaller than expected.

Small apertures for ventilation and lighting may be found in several of the rooms. Plaster pilasters, medallions, and blind niches are used as decorations in a few rooms. The corridor ends in a central courtyard that is surrounded by five suites of rooms on the top floor and three suites of rooms on the ground floor. Nearly every ornamental element in the building, including stucco moldings, carved plaster roundels, and closed and open arcades, can be found in the rooms on the second level. To develop a unique style, Qasr Kharana combines several regional traditions with Islam's influence, which was a relatively young faith. Syrian architectural traditions influenced the castle's design, and Sassanid construction methods were used. Surprisingly, despite the walls appearing to be substantial, the interior is significantly smaller than expected. Rooms with vaulted ceilings can be found on the upper stories if you take the wide staircases up there. It is claimed that some carved plaster medallions positioned around the tops of the walls show Mesopotamian influence. A few Arabic graffiti lines may also be seen in one of the chambers on the second floor. These lines were essential in determining the fortress's age. The words 'Abd Al-Malik the son of Ubayd wrote it on Monday three days from Muharram in the year 92' are inscribed above the door in plain black script. The southeast and southwest corners have stairs that lead to the second level and the roof (closed to visitors). The visitor center, which contains various exhibits on local history, is the entrance to Kharana. Public restrooms are accessible. You can get a cup of fresh mint tea and talk about the day's events with the hospitable proprietor of the nearby Bedouin tent, which also serves as the site coffeehouse and souvenir shop. If the current lack of tourism persists, we would greatly appreciate your business.

  • imageDuration Required
    3 hours

Address of Qasr al-Kharrana

Route 40, Amman Jordan

Opening & Closing time of Qasr al-Kharrana

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
    Open 24 Hours