The Hashemite Plaza

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The Hashemite Plaza is a public plaza in Amman, Jordan that spans over an area of 20,000 square metres. It was renewed in 2014 and is named after the Jordanian royal family, the Hashemites.

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The Hashemite Plaza includes open spaces, fountains, gardens, parking lots and cafes. It is equipped with a centre that hosts cultural activities like the Amman Book Festival.

The plaza is flanked by two of the most popular Roman ruins of Amman, the Roman theatre and the Odeon, while the Nymphaeum is just a short distance away. The Citadel Hill, which towers over the Plaza, offers good views of it.


Notable Structures


The Roman Theatre is the most impressive monument of old Philadelphia, as Amman was known when it was part the Roman Decapolis, the cities network on the frontier of the Roman Empire in the southeastern Levant. According to an inscription, it was built during the era of the Antonine emperors, at the end of the second century CE.

Its tiered, semicircular seating space, carved into the Jabal al-Jofeh hill in three horizontal sections with a total of 44 rows can seat around 6,000 people. It faces north so that the audiences are protected from the sun. Social rank dictated the places for the audience. The urban poor, foreigners, slaves, and women were restricted to the upper section. The stage building, about 100 meters wide, was probably three storeys high. The wooden stage elevates 1.5 meters from the the chorus performance space, the orchestra, which has a radius of 13 meters.

The row of columns in front of the theatre is what remains of the colonnades which flanked the Roman Forum, a public square, once among the largest of the Empire (100 x 50 metres). East of it is the Odeon, a smaller Roman auditorium for musical performances.

Today, the Roman Theatre is again in use for performances, concerts, and events. In addition, halls on both sides of the stage house two small heritage museums: The Folklore Museum and the Museum of Popular Traditions.


The Odeon, a smaller theater mainly used for music, poetry readings, debates, or lectures is located on the eastern side of the plaza, perpendicular to the axis of the Roman Theater, and delimitating Amman's Roman Forum on the East.

Built in the second century CE, its semicircular seating space has a capacity of about 500 seats in 9 rows. It is believed to have been covered with a wooden roof. The stage building used to be richly decorated with friezes and niches. It has a vaulted interior gangway which connects to the stage via three doors.

Like the Roman Theater, the Odeon is regularly used today, for example, for performances during the Al Balad Music Festival.

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