Qasr Al-Hallabat Complex
Al Hallabat is located in the eastern desert, 60km northeast of Amman, and is about 16km from the Via Nova Trajana. The complex occupies an area of 50 acres with numerous springs and water sources, with the Qasr located on the top of the mound, that dominates the site. Here you can imagine a well-organized Umayyad park that highlights the nature and density of early Islamic Umayyad occupation in Jordan. The history of the castle goes back to the Nabataean period when it was a station on the trade routes. During the Roman period it became a Roman fort constructed in the second or third century AD, as a military station on the road between Bosra and Aqaba to protect its residents from the raids of bedouin tribes of the badiya.
It was one of the many stations on the Via Nova Trajana Roman highway. The castle was reused and probably enlarged during the Byzantine period.
During the Umayyad period the site was rebuilt under the Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Malik, who ordered the destruction of the fortress and redeveloped a grand palace using basalt and limestone instead. An enclosed structure was also found on the site, which was probably used for agricultural purposes (e.g. cultivating olive trees).
There is a huge reservoir and at least five large cisterns in the wadi to the north and west and the channeling systems were probably connected in order to store and distribute water to the Qasr, and the whole complex. Two kilometers to the east of the palace lies a complicated water system with an elaborate bath complex, Hammam as-Sarah (10.70mx11.80m), similar to Amra.
Al Hallabat has a square structure of 44m length, with square towers projecting at the angles on each corner. The inner structure measures (16.25mX16.20m). The ruins of the fortress preserve one storey in totality. The mosaics covered the floors of the palace, illustrating a skillfully positioned ensemble in an animated-like movement. The mosque, located 14m southeast of the Qasr, dominates the site from the top of the hill, and the nearby baths at Hammam as-Sarah. The mosque features are similar to the early architectural Islamic style in North Africa and Spain.