Qasr al-Hallabat

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Qasr al-Hallabat (Arabic: قصر الحلابات) is an Umayyad desert castle, with the associated bath house of Hammam as-Sarah east of it. The nearby modern town, named after the castle, is part of the Zarqa Governorate of north-western Jordan, north-east of the capital of Amman.[1]

Qasr al-Hallabat
قصر الحلابات
Rebuilt mosque (left) and qasr (right)
Rebuilt mosque (left) and qasr (right)
Qasr al-Hallabat is located in Jordan
Qasr al-Hallabat
Qasr al-Hallabat
Location in Jordan
Coordinates: 32°5′00″N 36°21′47″E / 32.08333°N 36.36306°E / 32.08333; 36.36306
Country Jordan
GovernorateZarqa Governorate
Time zoneUTC + 2

History Edit

The complex of Qasr al-Hallabat is located in Jordan's eastern desert.[2] Originally a Roman structure constructed in the 2nd-3rd century AD to protect the eastern frontiers of the Roman Empire, although there is trace evidence of Nabatean presence at the site.[2] It was one fort of many on the Roman highway, Via Nova Traiana, a route that connected Damascus to Aila (modern-day Aqaba) by way of Petra and Philadelphia (modern-day Amman).[2]

In the 6th century, the fort was ceded to the Ghassanids as part of the foedus treaty with the Byzantine emperor Justinian. The Ghassanids significantly altered the structure and constructed a monastery.[3]

By the 8th century, the Umayyad caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik ordered the structures to be demolished in order to redevelop this military site and its neighboring territory to become one of the grandest of all Umayyad desert complexes.[2]

Umayyad complex Edit

Guided by the extant plan,[dubious ] Hisham incorporated a mosque (situated 15 meters southeast of the main structure), a complicated water system including five cisterns and a considerably large water reservoir, and a bathhouse.[2] Furthermore, situated to the west of the palace remains an enclosed structure probably used for agricultural purposes such as cultivating olive trees and/or grapevines, of which only a one-layered stone footprint is still standing.[2]

Qasr Edit

The main palace is built of dark and light stone, basalt and limestone, and has a square floor plan with towers at each corner.[2] Grand in stature, the principal structures were further enhanced with decorative mosaics depicting an assortment of animals, detailed frescoes and highly crafted stucco carvings.[2] The site remains to be completely restored.[dubious ][2]

Mosque Edit

Approximately some 14 meters southeast of the palace stand the remains of the mosque.[2] Small in scale, it measures 10.70 by 11.80 meters and is constructed of layered limestone.[2] Inside, two arching riwaqs[clarification needed] divide the mosque into three sections.[2] A rounded molding extends the perimeter of the space at the height of 2.10 meters.[2] Similar to Qusayr 'Amra and Hammam as-Sarah, three barrel vaults support the roof of the structure. Encircling the mosque from the north, west, and east stood a 3.30-meter wide portico.[2]

Of the mosque, three wall sections, including the mihrab in the southern wall, remained intact from the original structure.[2] Recent reconstruction works have added back the collapsed[clarification needed] elements.[citation needed]

Gallery Edit

Modern town Edit

The nearby modern town of Qasr Al-Hallabat is a municipality consisting of four villages. The area is inhabited by the Bani Sakhr tribe, especially the Al-Othman family.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Maplandia world gazetteer
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o ArchNet entry for Qasr al-Hallabat and Qasr as-Sarah. "Qasr al-Hallabat". ArchNet. Aga Khan Trust with MIT. Archived from the original on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
  3. ^ Perry, Megan; Parker, Kathryn; Montgomery, R. Taylor (2015). "An Early Islamic Homicide at Qasr Hallabat, Jordan". Near Eastern Archaeology. 78 (4): 274–284. doi:10.5615/neareastarch.78.4.0274. ISSN 1094-2076.

External links Edit