A fine example of contemporary Islamic architecture, the King Abdullah Mosque commemorates King Abdullah I, founder of the dynasty that rules Jordan to this day. The vast blue dome, decorated with texts from the Quran, shades a space that can hold over 10,000 people, while a small museum celebrates the king’s life.
A small charge gains you access to both the mosque and the Islamic Museum, which holds a collection of King Abdullah I’s possessions and photos. While you don’t need a guide to explore the mosque, a local can explain the story and significance of the building and the role of Abdullah I in Jordanian lives. Many travelers visit on an Amman city tour that also covers sights such as the citadel, the Roman amphitheater, and the Royal Automobile Museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The King Abdullah Mosque is a must for anyone interested in the Jordanian royal family or contemporary Islamic architecture.
- Abaya robes and headscarves are available at the door for women to cover hair and bare limbs, but it’s still worth dressing conservatively. Men are required to wear long pants.
- As at any mosque, remove shoes before entering the prayer hall.
- The King Abdullah Mosque is sometimes known as the Blue Mosque for its vibrant dome. It should not be confused with the much older Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
How to Get There
The King Abdullah Mosque stands about 2 miles (3 kilometers) east of Amman Citadel, in the heart of downtown Amman. It’s about a 0.5-mile (1-kilometer) walk from the Abdali bus and service taxi station; just turn left onto King Hussein Street. Rather than navigating Amman’s confusing taxi system, many travelers prefer to visit as part of a comprehensive Amman city tour that includes door-to-door round-trip transfers.
When to Get There
The King Abdullah Mosque is open to non-Muslims between Saturday and Thursday, in the morning and then again around lunch time. On Friday, the Islamic day of worship, the mosque is only open to Muslims who wish to pray, while it sometimes closes for Muslim holy days and special events.
Know Your King Abdullahs
Jordan is a constitutional monarchy headed by King Abdullah II, who has been king since 1999. The King Abdullah Mosque commemorates King Abdullah I, who led the nation of Jordan to independence from British colonial rule and was assassinated in 1951. Completed in 1989, it was built by his grandson, King Hussein, father of the current king Abdullah.