About As-Salt City

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View Of Old Salt City

As-Salt History  

As-Salt’s city name comes from the Latin word ‘Saltus’ which means the forest, another name for As-Salt was Gadora, which means the city surrounded with walls.

Since ancient times such as the classical, Byzantine, Islamic, Ottoman periods various and large communities of people settled in As-Salt city, and around the mid of the nineteenth century As-Salt city became the capital of east Jordan until the establishment of the state of Jordan.


As-Salt’s climate

The major climate in As-Salt city is a contrast between a relatively short rainy season from November till March, and a dry weather for the rest of the year. As-Salt’s summer reaches its peak during August.  You might not get sweaty even in summer because of the dry weather. But it is recommended to hide from the strong sun light at summer time. Lightweight cotton clothes are advised in the summer, with a sweater for cooler evenings.

January is usually the coolest month. In April and May, temperatures are warm and wild flowers are in bloom! In October, there is an  annual festival which is called “Welcome to As-Salt” where you can experience and celebrate Salt’s traditional lifestyle and enjoy its activities.  Throughout the year, different flowers, herbs, vegetables and fruits can be seen according to the season.


As-Salt Architecture

The beautiful landscape of As-Salt city is blessed with yellow limestone houses, with ceilings that have a distinctive shape. The ceiling is so called barrel vaults ceiling and cross vaults ceiling. The picture is the example of cross vaults ceiling at the Historic Old Salt Museum.  The artisanal decoration of the openings and the designed tiles are also unique characteristics of architecture in As-Salt.

In As-Salt, the houses normally have the flat roof. Although the appearance from outside look similar, the rooms inside house are different and it is interesting to see. Only a few buildings such as churches and Historic Old Salt Museum have the pitched roof which is the triangle shape downward from the top .

The type of houses varies from rural peasant houses, Nabulsi style houses to classic residential houses, and the architectural composition of each type is different. In some of As-Salti houses, there are courtyards which are sorts of communal space in which As-Salti people spend time on communicating with each other.



As-Salt city architecture


As-Salt Secondary School for boys was one of the most prominent educational centers in the early 20th century in trans-Jordan. For many years, it was the only high school in the country.  This school has played a significant role in the political and cultural life of Jordan, and several prominent Jordanian public figures have graduated from there – including seven prime ministers, and more than seventy ministers. 

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As-Salt Secondary School 


As-Salt Society

By the end of the 19th Century, As-Salt’s urban community was a remarkable mix of local tribes, merchants and migrants from Nablus, Jerusalem, Hebron, Damascus, Nazareth, Lebanon, and Turkey.

A rich and distinctive social life emerged, based on a combination of tribal customs and newly urban social norms. There were always newcomers to town - peddlers, merchants, or merchants of immigrants. This created a new As-Salti tradition of urban hospitality where travelers and visitors were welcomed into urban merchants' houses for several days, and were offered the best food, drink, and accommodation. There were many intermarriagebetween residents of As-Salt, and those from Damascus and Nablus. Several urban merchants migrating to As-Salt married local women and also As-Salti travelers and merchants married women from Damascus, Jerusalem, Nablus as well as other neighboring towns and villages


Location and population

As-Salt lies 30 Km to the east of the Jordan valley of an altitude of 850 m it has traditionally been a trading and market center serving the East Bank with links to Nablus, Jerusalem, and the Mediterranean to the west and Damascus to the north. It is now the administrative center for the Balqa Region, only 30 Km north- west from Amman with which it has a close interrelationship.

The present population of As-Salt is approaching 140,000, where 70,000 of them are located in the old central district “old Salt”.