Eastern Desert, 140 km northeast of Amman

4th Century AD

Residents – FREE
Non-residents – FREE


North 32° 16′ 51″
East 36° 50′ 17″


Qasr Deir Al-Kahf

The great basalt fort of Deir Al-Kahf is located on the north side of the highway that stretches from Mafraq to the Iraqi border and about 45 km from Qasr Azraq. Built in the 4th century and historically situated on the Strata Diocletiana between Azraq and Bostra, it is another purpose-built Roman fort, a site of considerable importance that primarily served as a sentry post. Like its famous neighbour Umm al-Jimal, Deir Al-Kahf is also constructed of black basalt, though the ruins here are not nearly as extensive.

An entrance has now been made in the west wall, but the original entrance, where a huge basalt gate is embedded in the ground, was in the east. The fort is about 60 m square with corner towers and two interval towers in the north and west walls. The walls are 1.5 m. (5 ft) thick and still rise in places to some 7.5 m. (25 ft). The curved line of the apse of a church added at a later stage can just be seen in the courtyard near the plastered cistern.

Around the courtyard were two storeys of some 100 rooms on two floors (three in the towers) which would have been adequate accommodation for a 500-strong cohort at least. In the south wall a small postern, now blocked, led to a walled and covered cistern. A Greek inscription found over the lintel here referred to the prefect Agrippa. There are other cisterns and pools found in the neighbourhood which provided an additional supply of water. The fort appears to have been abandoned in the late 5 century for unknown reasons.

It is certainly off the tourist routes but well worth a visit and If you decide to do so today, a local guide can be hired for a small amount (1 or 2 JOD) to show you around and tell more about the history of this fort.


Timeline of Qasr Deir Al-Kahf History

3rd Century AD

Roman Period

First built in the 3rd century AD by Romans as a fort.
3rd Century AD
8th Century AD

Umayyad Period

Later during Umayyad Period, Qasr Deir Al-Kahf is known to have been used as a caravan stop.
8th Century AD
21st Century AD

Present Time

Due to its proximity to Amman and other popular tourist destinations, Qasr Deir Al-Kahf is not often visited by tourists but is recommended to pass by if you are on your way to Jawa.
21st Century AD

Nearby Attractions

Dair Al-Kinn is situated 11 km northeast of Qasr Deir Al-Kahaf. Unfortunately other than scanty remains on the ground …
7 km past Deir Al-Kinn, Jawa’s massive black basalt walls loom on a steep, rocky ledge alongside the Wadi Rajil …

Qasr Deir Al-Kahf Reviews

PHOTO Gallery

Map Legend

8000 – 4000 BC

3500 – 1200 BC

1200 – 539 BC

332 – 168 BC

168 BC – 106 AD

106 – 324 AD

324 – 636 AD

661 – 750 AD

1099 – 1263 AD

1250 – 1918 AD

8000 - 4000 BC
3500 - 1200 BC
1200 - 539 BC
332 - 168 BC
168 BC - 106 AD
106 - 324 AD
324 - 636 AD
661 - 750 AD
1099 - 1263 AD
1250 - 1918 AD

Neolithic Period

Bronze Age

Iron Age

Hellenistic Period

Nabatean Period

Roman Period

Byzantine Period

Umayyad Period

Crusades / Ayyubid Period

Mumluk / Ottoman Period