A visit to the Amman Roman Theatre is always on the list of things to do in Amman. It is a natural visit after the Amman Citadel as it is located just below the other popular site in Amman. The Roman Amphitheater in Amman is physically cut into the side of the hill. The large and steep structure could seat about 6,000 people. It was oriented north to keep the sun off the spectators. Today the theatre remains largely intact and the complex houses two museums. It hosts many cultural events and concerts. Young locals often hang out in the large open space outside the theatre and tourists come and go, spending at the most, an hour at the site.
In 1957, the Jordanian government began a process of restoration on the Roman Theater. Many parts of the theatre had not only been damaged but pillaged by locals who used the stones to build their houses.
What to See at the Roman Theatre in Amman
- 6000 seat theatre
- Jordan Folklore Museum
- Jordanian Museum of Popular Traditions
- Smaller Odeon Theatre
Amman Roman Theatre History
The Roman theatre or amphitheater as it is often referred to as was originally built between 138 and 161 AD, during the rule of Antoninus Pius, the Roman Emperor. Pius was known to be one of the most peaceful Emperors in Roman history. Consequentially, the era was filled with arts and culture as the Emperor encouraged philosophy, fine arts, and science. He forged the development of buildings and centers of culture.
Roman dignitaries and other VIPs would gather and be seated in the uppermost section of the theater rather than opting for those seats which were closest to the performers. This uppermost section was known as “The Gods”.
What Else to See at Amman’s Roman Theatre
While the huge theatre cannot be missed, the Jordan Folklore Museum and the Jordanian Museum of Popular Traditions are housed in the western and eastern sections of the Roman theater. They both provide information, artifacts, and cultural insight into the theatre’s past.
On the east side of the Roman theater is the “Odeon” ; it is a small 500-seat theater used for small occasions. Archaeologists have speculated that the Odeon was most likely closed by a temporary wooden roof that shielded the audience from the weather.
And to the west of the Roman Theater 5 minutes walk you will be visiting the The Nymphaeum is a partially preserved Roman public fountain. Such fountains were very popular in Roman cities, and Philadelphia, as Amman was known by ancient Greeks and Romans, was no exception. This Nymphoeum is believed to have contained a 600 square meters pool which was three meters deep and was continuously refilled with water.
These ruins were destroyed in 749 by an earthquake.
Amman Roman Theatre Practical Information
Roman Theatre Hours
Winter Hours (Nov – April ): 8:00 – 4:00
Spring Hours (April – May): 8:00 – 5:30
Summer Hours (June – October): 8:00 – 6:30
Ramadan Hours: 8:00 – 3:30
(Double check these hours upon arrival to Amman to avoid disapointment)
Entrance Fees JD2 (incl Folklore Museum & Museum of Popular Traditions) free with Jordan Pass
Consider the Roman Theatre for a Photoshoot!
Did you know you can easily book a local Amman photographer online? If you want some great photos, read how to book a local photographer in Amman! If you are already convinced, you can search for one here!