Amman, Jordan

Amman became the capital of newly independent Jordan in 1946. This ancient city has regained importance in the 20th century.

Amman is the commercial, industrial, and administrative center of Jordan. Population (1994 estimate) 1,000,000.

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Industries include the manufacture of textiles, tobacco products, dry batteries, leather products, tiles, and cement and the processing of flour and other food products. The extraction of phosphate and petroleum refining are other important industries.

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The city Rabbah Ammon had its origins in the period about 1500 BC.

In the 3rd century BC the Egyptian king Ptolemy Philadelphus captured it and renamed it Philadelphia, under which name it was known throughout the eras of the Roman and Byzantine empires. Many ruins of this period can be seen in Amman today.   In the 1st century AD Philadelphia was a leading city of the Roman province of Arabia.

Lost to the Byzantines at the rise of Islam and subsequently conquered by Arabs in the 7th century, the city fell into decline by about 1300, again taking its former name, Rabbah Ammon.

Amman regained importance in the 20th century. It was an important Turkish base during World War I and was taken from the Turks by the British in September 1918.

Amman became the capital of newly independent Jordan in 1946.

During the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 and 1949, the city received many Palestinian refugees from the new Jewish state of Israel; their number increased after the Six-Day War of 1967, when Jordan lost control to Israel of Palestinian-occupied areas west of the Jordan River.

In 1970, as a result of political differences between the militant Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Jordanian government, fighting occurred in Amman, and the city suffered heavy damage.

In 2005 Palestinians live as integral citizens within Amman, and in several large refugee camps.

Jordan's main highway passes through the city and terminates at the port of Al ‘Aqabah. A government-operated rail line, formerly part of Al Hijaz (the Hejaz) Railway, links Amman with Damascus. The city is also served by Amman International Airport.

Major cities near Amman:

935 km
584 miles

482 km
301 miles

170 km
106 miles

785 km
491 miles

1.185 km
741 miles
Royal Jordanian
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