Al-Salt is one of the oldest cities of Jordan and the old capital during the Ottoman period. Situated at 790–1100 meters above sea level, about 35 minutes drive from Amman, it was chosen as a settlement area and stronghold by many rulers due to its strategically convenient position halfway between the Jordan Valley and the eastern desert-at the centre of the ancient trade route connecting the east and the west. The area is also known for its fertile soil which produces the tastiest fruits and vegetables of the region, particularly olives, tomatoes, grapes, and peaches. The name “Salt” probably originates from the word sultana, a certain type of raisin.
Things to Do in Al-Salt and the Top Places to Visit in Al-Salt:
1- Salt Archaeological Museum:
Salt Archaeological Museums is among the most informative museums in Jordan, providing the visitor with insightful details about the history of the Jordan Valley and the Balqa region, as well as the culture and traditions of the area. Among the most interesting items displayed in Salt Archeological Museum, there are collections of glass and pottery from Roman, Byzantine and Islamic eras, mosaics retrieved from nearby churches, and a rich collection of local traditional dresses and Ottoman uniforms.
2- Beit Abu Jaber Museum
The Beit Abu Jaber Museum is an old house dating from 1890 that has been recently converted to Al-Salt historic museum by a project of the Ministry of Tourism. The house is dedicated to the ancient and modern history of Al-Salt and its surroundings, and it is entirely managed by local stakeholders as a strategy to promote community awareness and participation in heritage protection.
3- Mountain Breeze Resort
Mountain Breeze is a resort, garden restaurant, and outdoor activity centre located on top of the beautiful Gilead Mountains near Zai, about 30 minutes drive from Al-Salt. It is the perfect place to go if you wish to experience the natural beauty of the Balqa countryside and immerse in unspoiled nature. The resort offers an outstanding panoramic view over the surrounding green forest and hills, and the close by cities of Amman, Ajloun, Jerash, and Zarqa, up to the Palestinian hills in the west. It also hosts a rich variety of local plants and animals, including a multitude of wild cyclamens flowering in winter. Camping, hikes, and outdoor activities, such as archery and paintball, are available for visitors and overnight guests alike.
4- The Shrines of Prophet Joshua/Yushua
This is the grave of Prophet Joshua, an important historical and religious figure as a student and successor of Prophet Moses and leader of the Israelites during the conquest of Canaan. The shrine is located inside a mosque and is easily reachable from the city centre.
5- Al Hammam Street
Hammam Street, the “The Bath’s street”, is named after a Turkish bath that no longer exists. A recent restoration project has brought the traditional Ottoman stone buildings surrounding the street back to their ancient beauty. Today it hosts the local city market of al Salt, the perfect place to buy fresh and delicious fruit and vegetables.
6- Saint George’s Church
The Church of Saint George, also known in Arabic as ‘Al Khader Church’, meaning ‘the green one’, is a 300 year old church on top of one of Al Salt’s hills. Built around a small cave where St. George allegedly appeared to a farmer, it is associated with many miraculous healings of difficult diseases and is probably the only place in Jordan where Christians and Muslims pray together.