Zarqa, the third-largest city in Jordan, is located approximately 22 kilometers northeast of the capital city, Amman. Known as the country’s industrial center, Zarqa is a bustling and rapidly growing city with a diverse population and a rich history.
Originally a small agricultural village, Zarqa experienced significant growth during the 20th century due to industrial development and population migration. The discovery of oil in the region played a crucial role in attracting industries and spurring economic growth. With the establishment of factories and manufacturing plants, Zarqa quickly transformed into a major hub for various industries, contributing significantly to Jordan’s economy.
Today, Zarqa is known for its numerous factories, including those involved in textiles, chemicals, food processing, and construction materials. The city’s industrial sector provides employment opportunities for thousands of people and serves as an important source of income for many families in the area. The presence of these industries has also led to the development of a robust support infrastructure, including transportation networks and logistics services, further enhancing the city’s industrial capabilities.
Despite its industrial focus, Zarqa also has cultural and historical significance. The city is believed to have been inhabited since ancient times, with archaeological evidence suggesting settlements dating back to the Bronze Age. The nearby archaeological site of Ain Ghazal is renowned for its Neolithic statues, which are among the oldest human statues ever discovered. These ancient artefacts provide valuable insights into the early human civilizations that once thrived in the region, showcasing the rich history and heritage of Zarqa.
Zarqa offers several notable landmarks and attractions for visitors to explore. The King Hussein Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Jordan, is a prominent religious site in the city. Its beautiful architecture and peaceful atmosphere make it a place of worship and reflection for locals and visitors alike. The mosque’s grandeur and spiritual significance make it a must-visit destination for those interested in Islamic culture and architecture.
The city is also home to the Royal Automobile Museum, which showcases a collection of vintage cars that belonged to the late King Hussein of Jordan. The museum provides a fascinating journey through the history of automobiles, presenting a wide range of vehicles from different eras. Visitors can admire the beautifully preserved cars and learn about their historical significance, as well as gain insights into the royal family’s passion for automobiles.
For those interested in outdoor activities, Zarqa has several parks and green spaces where residents and visitors can relax and enjoy nature. The Zarqa River Park is a popular recreational area with walking trails, picnic spots, and playgrounds. The park provides a refreshing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, allowing visitors to unwind and appreciate the natural beauty of the surroundings. It serves as a gathering place for families and friends, fostering a sense of community and providing opportunities for leisure and relaxation.
Zarqa’s strategic location makes it a gateway to several attractions in the surrounding area. The nearby city of Amman, with its historical sites, vibrant culture, and modern amenities, is easily accessible from Zarqa. Visitors can explore the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, which is known for its well-preserved architecture and fascinating archaeological sites. The Dead Sea, a natural wonder and popular tourist destination renowned for its therapeutic properties, is also within driving distance from Zarqa.
Zarqa is a city that reflects the rapid growth and industrial development of Jordan. While it may not have the same historical and touristic prominence as other cities in the country, it offers a unique glimpse into Jordan’s modern economy and the daily lives of its residents. From exploring its industrial sector and visiting its cultural landmarks to enjoying its outdoor spaces and using it as a base to explore nearby attractions, Zarqa has much to offer for those seeking to experience the diverse facets of Jordanian life.