Desert Castles in Jordan - Qusayr Amra

Along the Amman-Baghdad highway was built as a pleasure and sporting lodge by the Umayyad caliph al-Walid around 712AD. It is a small palace built of red limestone. Qusayr Amra is famous for the frescoes covering its walls and vaulted ceilings. The scenes depicted vary from dancing women to a series of panels depicting the animals of the desert that abounded in the 8th century.

The original well and underground water system that supplied the steam baths can still be seen.

Qusayr Amra was inscribed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 under the criteria:
that it

• "represents masterpiece of human creative genius",

• "bears a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or has disappeared" and is

• "an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage in human history”.