Qasr Amra

Amra, Jordan

The desert palace of Qasr Amra is located about 100km east of Amman and 20km south of Azraq. It was built in the early 8th century by an Umayyad ruler or prince: perhaps Walid I (705-715), builder of the Great Mosque in Damascus; or alternatively the pleasure-loving Walid II (743-744), during his long exile in the desert, before he became caliph.

The restored buildings consist of a triple-vaulted audience hall (right) with attached bathhouse and waterworks (left). They are seen here from the front (north). The inside is covered with rare but very deteriorated wall paintings, that depict scenes of pleasure in a style influenced by Classical and Byzantine traditions.

Alternate spellings include Qusayr or Quseir for Qasr, and Amrah for Amra.