Mosque Name: Qasr El-Bai’j

Country: Jordan

City: Desert Castle

Year of construction (AH): pre-Islam

Year of construction (AD): 410

GPS: 32°22’7.32"N 36°20’33.28"E

Original Qibla: Petra

Rebuilt facing Mecca: never


The Gate of Commodus‘ at Um el-Jimal opens onto a road that leads north-west to many ancient villages and towns. Most seem to have been purely civilian but one, just 5 km from Jimal, was certainly military. (Kennedy, 2000). A building inscription dates the original construction on the site to 410 AD. The structure measures c. 41 x 41 m, 0.17 ha (0.42 acres) (Parker 1986, 16-17). It is unknown how many different levels of buildings occupy this site as it has never been fully excavated. A series of barrak like buildings occupy the fringes of this site, and in the center is the remains of what appears to have been an Umayyad style Qasr. This building seems to have been oriented so that the south wall faced 210.2 degrees which is close to pointing to Petra. However, the Qibla wall has been destroyed, so it is impossible to be 100% certain. Since all the other Umayyad buildings were rectangular or square, we can assume that the Qasr was complete at one time, and that it was oriented to the south.



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