Desert Castles and The Eastern Desert

The Omayyad Desert Castles, they are also known as Desert castles of Jordan, despite that they were not meant to be castles nor built for that purpose, they are called more as castles rather than palaces, most of them are moderately fortified since they were built far away from any urbanized areas in the middle of the desert mainly for leisure and to communicate with the backbone of the Omayyad dynasty of the Arab tribes who inhabited the desert of the Levant (or Bilad Asham as known in Arabic)

Most of those palaces were erected in the 7th and 8th centuries as private recreation residential places for the Omayyad Caliphs in Damascus (the capital of the Omayyad) to practice hunting and to keep some contact with the Bedouin Arab tribes in those regions, they were built all over the Levant (Jordan, Syria, Palestine) and some were built in Iraq, most of those which were erected in Jordan are located in the eastern zone of the country, to the east of Amman.
Jordan Desert Castles
Qusayr ‘Amra, Qusayr means little palace in Arabic, a small desert palace, about 85 km (53 mi) east of Amman, famous for frescos decorating its sealing
Qasr al-‘Azraq, about 100 km (62 mi) east of Amman, the building was initiated by the Romans reused by the Byzantines and Umayyad later one. It not far from Al Azraq nature reserve, it is built of basalt stone
Qasr Mshatta, about 35 km (22 mi) southeast of Amman, large part of the Mshatta palace facade now in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, it was built as a winter palace for the Umayyad Caliph
Qasr Burqu’, the Romans built this building to protect the seasonal water lake as a valuable water source in an arid area, the water lake dries out sometimes in the summer it is located on a vital trade route between Syria and the Arabian peninsula, it was restored by the Umayyad around 700 A.D
Qasr al-Kharana, about 65 km (40 mi) east of Amman, well preserved building, it the construction has an early Islamic architectural style
Qasr Mushash or Qasr al-Muwaqqar, about 30 km (19 mi) south of Amman, near Muwaqqar village, only few ruins still exist with some Corinthian head capitals and gauge of water well
Qasr al-Qastal, a “desert palace” about 25 km (16 mi) south of Amman, it is probably the eldest Umayyad palace in the region
Qasr al-Hallabat, about 60 km (37 mi) northeast of Amman, also a small Roman fortress was built initially, then the Umayyad Caliph Hisam Bin Abdelmalik ordered to replace the fortress with new palace, it is one of the biggest Umayyad palaces though
Hammam as-Sarkh, the bath complex of Qasr al-Hallabat, about 55 km (34 mi) northeast of Amman, less than 2 km’s west of Qasr al-Hallabat
Qasr at-Tuba, about 95 km (59 mi) southeast of Amman
The Umayyad Palace, “a qasr” on the Citadel Hill of Amman, which was the administration center of Amman under the Umayyad rule
Umm al-Walid, a desert palace near Madaba