Eastern Desert, 115 km east of Amman

8th Century AD

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North 31° 53′ 36″
East 36° 50′ 42″


Qasr Ain Es-Sil

Stretching east from Amman is a desert region bewildering in its size and ruthless climate, a place of sand and barren basalt landscapes which bear witness to ancient glories. The Ummayed Caliphs of the early Islamic era, out of socio-economic and political concerns, built a string of palaces, hunting lodges, baths, meeting places, caravansaries and fortresses in the farthest corners of the desert. Known collectively as the Desert Castles, the constructions demonstrate the best of early Islamic Architectural ingenuity.

Located just 2 km from Qasr Azraq, Ain Es-Sil is one of the examples offering a different perspective on Desert Castles. Lying by the pine trees it was never used as a palace but rather as a farming estate with a bathing complex attached. This complex was built by the Umayyads, possibly over the existing fortifications of a Roman building.

The main building is asymmetric, no more than about 17 meters along each of the four walls. It was constructed, like all the other structures at the site, using circular-shaped bricks of different dimensions made of black basalt. The entrance to the east wall leads to a courtyard with seven rooms around it.

At the west wall are the remains of a small bathhouse which, like those at Amra, would have had a changing room as well as hot and cold baths. The hot bath would have had a hypocaust – the Roman heating system in which hot air was circulated under the floor and between double walls – similar to that at Amra although not nearly as elaborate. A couple of olive presses were also discovered during a series of excavations in 1984.

Qasr Ain Es-Sil
Qasr Ain Es-Sil

Timeline of Qasr Ain Es-Sil History

8th Century AD

Umayyad Period

Qasr Ain Es-Sil, a farming estate with a bathing complex attached was built by the Umayyads in the 8th century AD.
8th Century AD
16th Century AD

Ottoman Period

No evidence was found so far to indicate that this site was used during later periods.
16th Century AD
20th Century AD

Present Time

During a series of excavations in 1984 few discoveries were made including a couple of olive presses.
20th Century AD

Nearby Attractions

One of my favourite places to visit in Eastern Jordan, Qasr Usaykhim seats on the top of a hill just 22 km …
Qasr Azraq is often included on day trips from Amman to the Desert Castles, along with Qasr Kharana and …
In 1978, RSCN established Azraq Wetland Reserve to conserve the uniquely precious oasis located …
Shaumari Wildlife Reserve was established in 1975 by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature …
Located on a low basalt bridge overlooking Wadi Uweinid, at the Middle Badia, 15 km southwest …

Desert Castles

Qasr Ain Es-Sil Reviews

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Map Legend

8000 – 4000 BC

3500 – 1200 BC

1200 – 539 BC

332 – 168 BC

168 BC – 106 AD

106 – 324 AD

324 – 636 AD

661 – 750 AD

1099 – 1263 AD

1250 – 1918 AD

8000 - 4000 BC
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3500 - 1200 BC
1200 - 539 BC
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332 - 168 BC
Alex Travel
168 BC - 106 AD
106 - 324 AD
324 - 636 AD
Alex Travel
661 - 750 AD
Alex Travel
1099 - 1263 AD
1250 - 1918 AD

Neolithic Period

Bronze Age

Iron Age

Hellenistic Period

Nabatean Period

Roman Period

Byzantine Period

Umayyad Period

Crusades / Ayyubid Period

Mumluk / Ottoman Period