Visit the Grand al-Husseini Mosque to delve a little deeper into the history of Jordan. This Islamic monument is also simply known as the King Hussein Mosque, as it was built in 1924 by the emir Abdullah bin al-Hussein.
The original pink and white stone walls of the King Hussein Mosque were fully restored in 1987, giving it a surprisingly modern look. While not as big as the King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque, the city’s other “King Hussein Mosque,” the Grand al-Husseini Mosque is bound to impress you because of its history.
To see the mosque in full swing, follow the throngs of worshippers to the mosque when it's time for Duhr (noon) prayer or Friday prayer. While here, visit the nearby souks to buy spices, fruits and nuts or indulge in sweet baklava and kanafeh.
Come back to the mosque when it is quieter to admire its architecture. During the heat of the day, local men can often be seen sitting on the wide sidewalk, in the shade of the towering building to gossip and catch up. Inside, the first thing you’ll see is the pretty fountain, the centerpiece of the courtyard. Next up is the beautifully adorned prayer hall.
Amman is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. However, the ancient city was rebuilt often and in the 3rd century B.C. it was called Philadelphia, to honour the Ptolemic ruler Philadelphus. The very spot where the mosque now stands is believed to be the site of the Cathedral of Philadelphia, a Byzantine house of worship.
In A.D. 640, a mosque was built here by Umar bin Al-Khattab, the second Caliph of Islam. Soon after emir Abdullah bin al-Hussein made Amman his capital in 1921, a new mosque was built: the one you can see today. Note that only conservatively dressed tourists may enter the mosque.
You can’t miss the Grand al-Husseini Mosque (King Hussein Mosque), which stands at the heart of the gold souk in downtown Amman. Taking a taxi to the old Roman Theatre and then continuing on foot to the mosque while exploring the city’s bustling souks is a great way to go about it.