The Temple of Hercules, its towering columns visible from Downtown, dates, like the Roman Theatre, from the 2nd century AD. The temple stands on a platform at the head of the monumental staircase which formerly led up from the lower city: the blocks on the cliff edge mark the position of the staircase, and afford a tremendous panoramic view over the city centre that is particularly striking at sunset, when – in addition to the visual dramatics – the dozens of mosques in the city all around start broadcasting the call to prayer almost simultaneously.

The temple’s columns, which were re-erected in 1993, formed part of a colonnaded entrance to the cella, or inner sanctum. Within the cella a patch of bare rock is exposed, which, it’s thought, may have been the sacred rock that formed the centrepiece of the ninth-century BC Ammonite Temple of Milcom on this spot. The Roman dedication to Hercules is not entirely certain but, given the quantity of coins bearing his likeness found in the city below, pretty likely. Look out for the giant marble hand displayed nearby, part of an immense statue also thought to be of Hercules.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Jordan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

12 of the most beautiful places in the Middle East

The Middle East is a paradox. Located at the cultural crossroads between east and west, the region nowadays tends to make headlines for all the wrong reasons, b…

16 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
Middle Eastern majesty: 17 beautiful pictures of Jordan

Middle Eastern majesty: 17 beautiful pictures of Jordan

We chose Jordan as one of the top destinations to visit in 2016, and after looking at these stunning photographs from Picfair's best photographers, you'll und…

31 Oct 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Twenty places to make you feel insignificant

Twenty places to make you feel insignificant

French novelist Gustave Flaubert once said: “Travelling makes one modest – you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world”. With this in mind, here a…

27 Aug 2014 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month