visit360.net, the guide to wonders of the world in 360°
Amman Roman Theatre 360° virtual tour
The Roman theatre is a highlight of any visit to Amman. Built during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (169-177 AD), this large and strikingly steep structure has a seating capacity of about 6,000 people.
1. What to see
1.1. The theatre
It has a north-south orientation to north to keep the sun off the spectators. Divided into three horizontal sections (diazomata), dignities sat on the lowest level of the cavea close to the stage, the military had the middle section and finally general public sat on the top. Just above the topmost row, there is a small shrine that once housed a statue of Goddess Athena. Thanks to the steepness of the cavea, actors could be clearly heard everywhere in the building.
The entire theater looks very intact but it is the result of a bit inaccurate restoration works carried out in the 1950s and 60s. Compared to archive photos it is vital that much of the stage and the exterior walls are for example newly built. It is rather easy to find out what is original and what not because the restored stones are different from the original ones.
The 500-seat Odeon is a small sister of the grand theatre. It was built during the same time (2nd century AD), and was apparently only used for musical performances.
1.3. Roman Forum
Just a few columns remained from the Forum which used to be one of the largest public squares in all of the Roman Empire with a size of 100m by 50m.
2. When to see
During the high season between April and September, it is open each day between 8:30am and 7pm. From October to March, it is only open 8am-4pm every day except Fridays when it opens only at 10am. Ramadan means shorter opening hours of sites in Jordan and the theater is no exception as well: expect something between 9am and 3 or 4pm.
It is definitely recommended to visit the theatre in the morning just as we did to achieve good photos. Should it be still closed in the morning because of Ramadan late openings, a good idea can be to take a walk in the downtown area to the nearby Nympheum (about 10 minutes on foot).
Note that the entrance ticket is also valid for the Odeon and the museums inside the vaults of the theatre.