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Amman is the capital and largest city of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with a population of more than four million.Amman forms a great base for exploring not just Jordan, but the wider region as well and does, despite popular belief, offer much that is of interest to the traveller.The city is generally reasonably well-organized, enjoys great weather for much of the year and the people are very friendly.Although Amman can be difficult to penetrate at first sight, the city holds many surprises for the visitor.The steep terrain and heavy traffic remains challenging for pedestrians and for the rare cyclist.New resorts and hotels dot the city and there are many things for the traveller to see and do in and around Amman.After the Islamic conquests, Amman became part of the Muslim empire and experienced a slow decline, until the Ottomans were forced out by the Allies, with the help of the Hashemites, who formed a monarchy that continues to rule until the present. The eastern part of the city, where the majority of Amman's residents live, is predominantly the residential area of the working class and is much older than the west.A hilly city built of white stone, Amman's growth has skyrocketed since it was made the capital of Trans-Jordan in the early 1920s, but especially after the 19 wars with Israel when hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees settled in Amman.
Amman is experiencing a massive (some would say: reckless) change from a quiet sleepy village to a bustling metropolis, some of whose neighbourhoods seem hell-bent on wanting to imitate Dubai.Amman's roads have a reputation of being very steep and narrow in some of parts of the city but the city has state of the art highways and paved avenues.As of 2011, large numbers of Syrians have made Amman their home. The settlement mentioned in the Bible as Rabbath Ammon was the capital of the Ammonites, which later fell to the Assyrians.It was dominated briefly by the Nabataeans before it became a great Roman trade centre and was renamed Philadelphia.
Visit Amman's Roman Amphitheatre, its many art galleries or the newly opened Jordan Museum, while an afternoon away on a chic cafe terrace, take a course in the University of Jordan or stay in luxurious hotels and dine on the region's varied and delicious cuisine.Modern shopping malls are increasingly abundant in Jordan but open air souqs are what many travellers will remember most.