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As-Salt now on UNESCO World Heritage list

The ancient city, where many faiths come together, is the sixth site in the history-rich country of Jordan to be added.

The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) decided during its forty-fourth session, held virtually in China, to approve the addition of the city of As-Salt, ‘the city of tolerance and civilised hospitality’ in Jordan, to the World Heritage List.

As-Salt in Jordan is a must-visit for lovers of history and culture. Image: Courtesy Visit Jordan.

Jordan’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Nayef AI-Fayez, said during his participation in the committee’s meetings virtually that the city of As-Salt is among the kingdom’s top priorities because of its importance in demonstrating the characteristics of tolerance, co-existence and social care among its residents.

AI-Fayez added that Jordan and the World Heritage Committee (UNESCO) send an important message to the whole world: a message of peace, tolerance and coexistence in line with His Majesty King Abdullah II’s speech at the 2019 International Conference on Cohesive Societies in Singapore, in which His Majesty stressed that “the attack on interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence is the most important threat in the world which requires everyone to join forces to resist hatred and exclusion.”

Join the locals in As-Salt in a friendly game. Image: Courtesy Visit Jordan.

The meeting of the World Heritage Committee (UNESCO) to approve the inclusion of the city of As-Salt on the World Heritage List was attended by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Dr lmad Hijazin; the Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board, Dr Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat; the former Minister of Municipalities Maher Abu AI-Samin; and the former Minister of Interior Ghaleb Al-Zoubi; Director of the United Nations Education Office (UNESCO) in Jordan Min Jong Kim; Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Petra Development and Tourism Authority Dr. Suleiman AI-Farajat; Director General of the Baptism Site Commission, Engineer Rustom Mkhjian, and representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education.

Adding As-Salt to your Jordan itinerary

  • Visit the Great Mosque, originally constructed in the 13th century and later rebuilt in 2007 in Al Ain Plaza.
  • The city reflects a mix of modern and traditional architecture and appreciates interfaith coexistence. The staircase of the mosque leads to the Church of the Good Shepherd.
  • Try the traditional bread of As-Salt at A’shour Bakery, Shrak, baked with medieval tools and techniques.
  • Shop for the trademark intricate jewellery in gold and silver.
The city reflects a mix of modern and traditional architecture. Image: Courtesy Visit Jordan.

The magic of Jordan

Situated in the heart of the Arabian Desert, the Hashemite Kingdom is an oasis of stability and peace in the Middle East. From the hustle and bustle of the capital Amman to the southern desert, Jordan is awash with biblical, historical and cultural significance. Jordan’s iconic landmarks include the panoramic views from Mount Nebo; the rose-red city of Petra, which is one of the ‘new seven wonders of the world’; the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea; Aqaba on the Red Sea and Wadi Rum – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Indian passport holders can avail of ‘Visa on Arrival’ in Jordan. For more information: www.visitjordan.com

The other UNESCO World Heritage sites in Jordan

Petra: An archaeological and historical city famous for its rock-carved architecture and ancient water canal system.

Petra by night is especially magical. Image: Courtesy Visit Jordan.

Qusayr Amra: The palace was built during the reign of the Caliph AI-Walid bin Abdul Malik in the eighth century AD.

The well-preserved desert palace. Image: Courtesy Visit Jordan.

Wadi Rum Reserve: A valley located in the area of Hasma in southern Jordan, a desert region with diverse landscapes consisting of a group of narrow corridors, natural arches, towering slopes, huge landslides and caves. The site also contains inscriptions and archaeological remains dating back to 12,000 years of human existence.

The intriguing landscape holds interest for adventure travellers, as well as those interested in archaeology and geology. Image: Courtesy Visit Jordan.

Umm Ar-Rasas: A historic city, dubbed ‘Kasserton Mayfaa’ as described in a Greek text in a mosaic dating back to the Umayyad period. It began as a Roman military camp and developed into a city in the Byzantine era and continued so until the early Islamic era. There are traces of 16 churches, some of which still retain good mosaic floors.

Kasserton Mayfaa stands at the confluence of so many cultures.
Image: Courtesy Visit Jordan.

Baptism site: The Baptism site is the place where Jesus Christ was baptised by John the Baptist.

An important site for the Christian devout as well as history buffs.
Image: Courtesy Visit Jordan.

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