A visit to Salt is a step back in time. This old historic town, about 30 minutes from Amman, was the administrative capital of Jordan during the time of the Ottomans. Salt thrived because of its trade networks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries but when Amman was chosen as the new capital of Jordan, Salt began to decline.
Today, not much has changed. Thankfully there has not been a lot of modernisation and the traditional yellow stone buildings with their long arched windows and iron work survive as a reminder of the Ottoman days.
We arrived when the market was in full swing. Parking was tricky but that enabled us to walk through a part of the town that I may not have seen otherwise and find this busy little bakery!
Unfortunately we were too late to see inside Salt’s Historic Old Museum. The house was built late in 1892 by the Abu Jaber Family. In 2010 it was converted to a museum showcasing the history of the city. The building is one of the best examples of the Ottoman architecture that Salt is famous for.
Over the road, Al Ain Plaza was bustling. The Saturday market was in full swing.
Makeshift stalls had been set up here by locals wanting to sell their home grown produce.
The main street of the market, Hamman Street, was very busy. Shops line both sides of this narrow street. Fresh fruit and vegetable shops were doing a roaring trade. Meat hung in the window of the butcher shop, chooks waited in cages to be bought, eggs were sold from the back of a van and home made pickles were stacked high on a trolley.
In one part of the market, spice shops were clustered together. The choice was amazing.
This beautiful man sitting outside his spice shop was only too happy for me to take his photo.
We then spotted a long queue winding out of one of the shops and had to investigate. The local cobbler was in great demand. Working quickly with old and trusty tools, shoes were being bought back to life.
Towards the end of Hamman Street, is the Small Mosque, built by local residents between 1905 and 1906.
I was surprised to learn that 30% of the population are Christian. There are churches of many denominations here including a Greek Orthodox Church but it was the Roman Catholic, Latin Church Complex that we visited.
It was then time to start our climb up the stairs to Al-Qala’a Lookout on top of one of the hills. The views over the city were rewarding. The town spreads out below with the houses appearing to be stacked on top of one another.
I’d love to go back to Salt. I feel that I only touched the surface with this quick visit and there is so much more to see.
Have you been to Jordan? Did you visit Salt?