Mosque Name: Qusayr Amra
City: Desert Castle
Year of construction (AH): 126 AH
Year of construction (AD): 743 AD
GPS: 31°48’6.89"N 36°35’14.19"E
Original Qibla: unknown
Rebuilt facing Mecca: unknown
This Umayyad palace is approximately 85 kilometers east of Amman, and 16 km east of Qa?r al Kharana. It is on the north side of Jordan’s Highway on the edge of a desert oasis and is attributed to al-Walid I (86/705-96/715) under whose rule Umayyad power reached its zenith. (al-Asad and Bisheh, 2000)
This small building is a bath complex which contains a small audience hall. The complex had a water wheel worked by animal power and a place to heat the water. The interior of the bathhouse contains richly painted frescoes, covering most surfaces, depicting a variety of subjects including hunting scenes, athletic activity, mythological images, and astronomical representations as well as hunting scenes with dogs, bathing scenes, dancing women, constellations and zodiac signs depicted on the interior of the Caldarium dome There are a surprising number of nude or semi-nude women and marine scenes. To date no residences have been discovered at this spot.
Recent excavations have brought to light an additional small castle with rooms oriented around a central courtyard, with a watchtower. These buildings seem to be oriented towards a “between” position, but further excavations are needed to determine where the mosque was located.