Qasr Bshir

Leaving one of the most splendid sites of Jordan

A visit to Qasr Bshir ought to be obligatory to any visitor to Jordan. The Roman castle, founded in c.300, is not a ruin, as so often, but is almost intact. It is a square limes fort of about 50×50 meters with four towers, so that it is often typified as a “quadriburgium”. That it is a fascinating place can be deduced from the fact that two young women in our company, who were not known for their great interest in military architecture, were the last ones to leave.

The most amazing aspect of the best-preserved Roman castle in Jordan, however, is that you will be alone. For those who cannot believe that, I will repeat it: you won’t find a soul at a site that is arguably the kingdom’s third archaeological site, after Petra and Jerash.

This is all the more surprising because Jordan’s Castel del Monte is situated almost next to the Desert Highway, the main road from Damascus to Amman to Saudi Arabia. To reach it, go from Qatrana to the north. At your left hand, you will pass the “Petra Tourist Complex” (terrible coffee); after this, take the first asphalt road to the left. It is perpendicular to the highway, leading almost straight to the west. After you have passed the first of two electricity lines, the road turns to the right and winds itself to the northwest. After some eight minutes, you will see the fort to your right. The walk to the castle takes about 15-20 minutes and is easy. Your satellite photo is here.

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