Jordan Facts

Jordan Facts and History


Jordan – The Land of the Bible

Jordan is a country that fascinates tourists from all over the world primarily because of its historical locations. The numerous places that play a role in the Bible and are therefore important destinations for Christian pilgrims are particularly in demand. This includes Bethany (not to be confused with Bethany near Jerusalem), the place of activity of John the Baptist on the Jordan, who is also said to have baptized Jesus there.

West of Madaba lies Mount Nebo, from which Moses first saw the “Promised Land”. In El-Wahadneh/Listib is the birthplace of the prophet Elijah, and in Mukawir (formerly Machaerus) the ruins of the castle of Herod Antipas can be seen. According to the biblical story, Salome danced in front of King Herod at this place (Matt. 14, 6-11) and thus obtained the beheading of John the Baptist. Not far from the old Nabataean city of Petra, on Mount Aaron, is the tomb of Aaron, the brother of Moses; and Sodom and Gomorrah are said to have been on the north bank of the Dead Sea.

A significant place from recent history is Wadi Rum, where rebellious Bedouins marched against the Turks at the beginning of the 19th century under the leadership of the archaeologist, secret agent and later author Lawrence of Arabia (1888-1935). The Hollywood classic of the same name “Lawrence of Arabia” by David Lean with Peter O’Toole in the lead role was filmed here in 1962, in which Anthony Quinn and Omar Sharif also played and which was awarded 7 Oscars.

What is worth mentioning and important for the visitor is the fact that Jordan, at least in terms of public life, is hardly affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – despite the numerous Palestinian refugees in the country.

Name of the country Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan(Arabic al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashimiyya)
Form of government Constitutional monarchy
Geographical location Middle East
National anthem As-salam al-malaki al-urduni
Population about 6.5 million (Credit: Countryaah: Jordan Population)
Ethnicities approx. 93% Arabs (around half of them Palestinians)
Religions approx. 93% Sunni Muslims (state religion)approx. 5% Christians
Languages Arabic is the official language.English is understood quite well across the country.
Capital Amman with 2.3 million residents
Surface 97,740 km²
Highest mountain Jabal Rum with a height of 1,734 m
Longest river Jordan with a length of 320 km
Largest lake Dead Sea with an area of approx. 1,020 km²
International license plate JOR
National currency 1 Jordanian dinar (JOD) = 1,000 fils
Time difference to CET + 1 h
International phone code 00962
Mains voltage, frequency 220 volts, 50 Hertz(an adapter is recommended.)
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .jo

Jordan: history

The earliest human settlement in the region that can be documented to date occurred between 450,000 and 250,000 years BC. Through cultures of Paleolithic hunters and gatherers.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, later, the Jordan Valley was probably one of the first areas on earth in which people developed sedentary life and agriculture. As early as 9,000 BC The domestication of mouflons and bezoar goats also began here. In Ain-Ghazal, the remains of a 9,500 to 7,500 year old settlement were excavated, including hollow human figures made from a calcareous material. In Jericho, which today belongs to the Palestinian autonomous region on the west bank of the Jordan, settlement remains from 11,000 BC were found. BC, the place was therefore long considered the oldest city in the world.

Before the year 1000

From around 1300 BC The ancient Semitic kingdoms of the Moabites (east of the Dead Sea), the Ammonites (north of Moab) and Gilead (far north) arose in the region of today’s Jordan. The Hebrew Edomites settled south of Moab. All these peoples were at the beginning of the first millennium BC. Part of the Jewish empire, which only existed until 926 BC. Chr. Existed and after its collapse they again formed independent kingdoms.

Between 800 and 600 BC The Assyrians ruled the area in the middle of the 6th century BC. New Babylonians followed and shortly afterwards the Persians. At least since the 4th century BC The Arab Nabataeans began to settle on both sides of the Jordan. Already at this time they developed a far-reaching trading system that flourished around the birth of Christ. The rock city of Petra they builttoday represents the most important ancient site in the country. In the year 64 BC. A Roman invasion took place under Pompey. Around this time, the founding of the Decapolis, a league of Hellenistic cities that existed for almost three centuries. In 106 today’s Jordan became a Roman province under Emperor Trajan. In 636, the Muslim Arabs defeated the Eastern Roman Empire, which had been weakened by numerous wars with the Persians, and Islamized it.

From the year 1000 to the 17th century

At the beginning of the 12th century Jerusalem was invaded by the Crusaders who founded the “Latin Empire”, which existed from 1115 to 1187. They built the castles Kerak and Shobak in the west of what is now Jordan. In 1258 the Mongols devastated the country, who in turn were driven out of Egypt by the Mamluks. Subsequently, the region belonged to the Mamluks Empire as part of the Syrian province until it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1516. These ruled for about 400 years.

In the 20th century

During the First World War, Jordanian tribes took part in the Arab uprising against the Ottomans with the assistance of the British secret agent Thomas Edward Lawrence (1888-1935), with the Turkish army being successfully weakened by guerrilla actions. However, the Arab tribes did not achieve their independence. Jordan was annexed to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1920 under the Sykes-Picot secret agreement. In 1923, the areas east of the Jordan, which were ruled as the emirate of Transjordan by Abdullah ibn Husain, were separated. In 1946 the British mandate expired, Transjordan achieved full independence and Abdullah I became king. In 1948 the State of Israel was founded. In the subsequent Arab-Israeli war, the West Bank and East Jerusalem were incorporated into the Jordanian Kingdom. A first large wave of Palestinian refugees from Israel was also triggered. In 1950 the state was renamed the “Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” with the incorporation of the Palestinian territories, but this was rejected by other Arab states. On July 20, 1951, King Abdullah I was assassinated by a Palestinian nationalist in Jerusalem. He was first succeeded by his son Talal bin Abdullah, who, however, had to resign in 1952 for health reasons. In 1953 his son was proclaimed King Hussein bin Talal. In 1967 Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the Six Day War. Another wave of some 400,000 Palestinian refugees entered Jordan. 1970, in “Black September”, there was an attempted coup by radical Palestinian groups, which King Hussein knocked down. In 1988, Jordan finally gave up its claims to the West Bank in favor of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In 1994 King Hussein signed the Wadi Araba Peace Treaty with Israel. He died in 1999 after a long illness and was succeeded by his son Abdullah II bin Hussein. Abdullah II pursues a pro-Western foreign policy overall, he concluded a free trade agreement with the USA in 2001 and an association agreement with the EU in 2002. In 2005 there was a terrorist attack on several hotels in the Jordanian capital he concluded a free trade agreement with the USA in 2001 and an association agreement with the EU in 2002. In 2005 there was a terrorist attack on several hotels in the Jordanian capital he concluded a free trade agreement with the USA in 2001 and an association agreement with the EU in 2002. In 2005 there was a terrorist attack on several hotels in the Jordanian capital Amman, which resulted in 56 deaths.

Jordan Facts