In 1975 Jordan issued a set of four stamps featuring old architectural monuments from the Roman and Islamic eras.
The Treasury of Petra
The city of Petra is one of the world’s most important historical and archaeological cities. It is located in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 235 kilometers (146 miles) south of the capital Amman.
The Nabataean civilization founded Petra in the year 312 B.C. The city is characterized by its architecture as the Nabataean Arabs carved it entirely in pink rock. This is why many scholars gave the city the name “Pink City”. It is today a unique example of an old Arab city. Besides its Nabatean style, the city contains a mixture of ancient architectural arts belonging to various civilizations.
The Treasury is the most famous and most important landmark in Petra. It got this name after the Bedouin belief that it contains treasure. This building consists of two floors, each floor is 39 meters high and 25 meters wide, and consists of three rooms.
It is noteworthy that the site of Petra remained unknown to the West throughout the Ottoman period until it was rediscovered by the Swiss orientalist Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. This traveler and geographer conducted an expedition in the middle-east for the benefit of the British Royal Geographical Society. Therefore, many scholars and orientalists call Petra “the lost city.”
Click here for moere petra drawings
The dome of the rock
The Dome of the Rock is part of Al-Aqsa Mosque*, the third holiest Islamic site, located in Jerusalem, Palestine. Moreover, it is one of the world’s most beautiful buildings, as its dome is among the most prominent Islamic architectural monuments. It is also the oldest Islamic building that has preserved its shape and decoration.
The Caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan built the mosque and its dome between 66 AH and 72 AH (685 AD to 691 AD).
The Dome of the Rock is an octagonal building with four doors, containing another octagon based on pillars and cylindrical columns. The “honorable rock” is located in the center of the building. The Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad traveled from Mecca to Jerusalem and ascended to heaven from that rock.
* Al-Aqsa Mosque is one of the largest Islamic mosques in the world. It has an area of 144 thousand square meters, that host more than 200 different buildings.
The Umayyad Palace in Amman
The Umayyad Palace is one of the oldest architectural monuments in Jordan. It dates back to the beginning of the Islamic era.
The Umayyad rulers of the country constructed the palace around 720 AD. to become a center of authority. Thus they named it as “the Emirate’s House”. The founders selected a high site on the northwest side of Citadel Mountain and north of the Temple of Hercules.
This palace was built as a strategic military site, on the ruins of Roman foundations. It is a square-shaped building of 26 by 25 meters and a height of 13.5 m. The architecture of the building features a mixture of Byzantine and Persian architectural styles, adorned with Islamic decorations carved on soft rock. It is topped with observation towers about 10 meters high. The building has a large reception hall and four rooms surrounding it. The palace has two entrances, one on its northern side and the other on its southern side.
The Omayyad palace represents a high architectural style with its construction, decorations, arcades, and dome.
The Forum of Jerash
Jerash is one of the most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside of Italy. It is located about 50 km north of the capital Amman.
To this day, the streets are still colonnaded, and the baths, theatres, plazas, and arches are in exceptional condition. Within the surviving city walls, archaeologists have found ruins of settlements dating back to the Neolithic period, attesting to human settlement at this site for more than 7,500 years.
The city reached the height of its prosperity during the time of the Romans at the beginning of the 3rd century AD. In this period, its population reached 20,000 people. Also, Jerash was prosperous in the Umayyads’ time in the first two centuries of the Islamic era. Following a series of earthquakes, in addition to economic and political changes, the city was mostly depopulated. However, there is evidence of the presence of a fortress and a military garrison beginning of the
twelfth century affiliated with the Seljuk ruler of Damascus. In the year 1121, Baldwin II, king of the Crusaders’ Kingdom of Jerusalem, occupied the city of Jerash and destroyed it. With the beginnings of the Ottoman era in the sixteenth century, the city’s population was composed of only 12 families.
In 1806, the German explorer and orientalist Ulrich Jasper Setzen arrived in Jerash, during his visit to Jordan and Palestine. His diary published in 1808 and 1809 made the city known to the western audience and attracted other visitors and explorers.
Catalogue Reference: Jordan Yvert & Tellier #834 to #837.