Not truly “castles’ in the usual sense, these desert castles are comprised of a number of isolated, deserted ancient buildings in the “East Desert” of Jordan. They are located east of Amman and can be visited in a day-trip from Amman. They are speculated to have been caravan stations, hammams (baths), residences and hunting lodges. Built mostly during the Umayyad period (661-750AD), they are considered some of the most spectacular original monuments of early Islamic art. T. E. Lawrence (‘Lawrence of Arabia’) based some of his operations at one of the sites ‘Qasr al Azraq’, an experience he wrote about in his book, “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”.
The Desert Castles are not often-visited as part of the ‘usual tourism circuit’, but are fascinating and well worth seeing for travelers willing to spend an additional night in Amman in order to make the trip.