The town of Salt Jordan was of great importance in the 19th and early 20th century, during the time of Turkish rule in Jordan. It was the chief administrative center for the surrounding area and, in the 1920s, it seemed the likely choice for the capital of the newly-independent state of Transjordan. However, Salt was bypassed in favor of the more centrally located village of Amman. The result is that Amman has been transformed into a thriving modern city, while Salt has retained its authentic Jordanian charm.
Due to its history as an Ottoman center of government, Salt is filled with wonderful Ottoman architecture in the classical style. Immediately recognizable are the Ottoman houses with their long-arched windows. An array of tall Ottoman minarets towers over the village, along with church steeples, as Salt is also known for its Christian community. A morning or evening spent strolling through the picturesque streets of this charming hill village is time well spent.
Salt is about thirty kilometers northwest of Amman. Just before you enter the main part of the city (from Amman), you will see the Department of Antiquities Museum and the Tourist Office on the left. The museum houses an assortment of pottery and coins dating from the Chalcolithic period (4500 BCE) through the Mamluk period (1516 CE), as well as Byzantine mosaic panels and early photographs of Salt. The museum is open 08:00-14:00 every day except Friday. Entrance is free. Just off the main street is the Salt Cultural Center. This complex, which opened in 1989, houses another museum, a library, a handicraft school and Salt’s main hall. The handicraft school teaches ceramics, weaving, silk screen printing and dyeing to students, who then sell their craftwork, making the project self-financing. The project is sponsored by the Noor al-Hussein Foundation and the Salt Development Foundation.