On the eastern side of the Ajlun mountains, Amman is a hilly city through which a small river, Wadi ‘Amman, once ran. Settlements have existed on the plateau since at least 3000 BCE. The Islamic history of the city begins when the city was taken by the forces of the general Yazīd ibn Abī Sufyān in 635, but it declined in importance, and by 1300 had nearly disappeared.
The Ottoman resettled the site with Circassian refugees from Russia in 1878, but I wasn’t until becoming the capital of Jordan after World War II that the city really began to grow.
The rehabilitation of the 1950s National Gallery and the park around it is proposed as a model of collaboration between government departments, NGOs, international funding agencies and private initiatives. The project doubled the available exhibition space through the renovation of the main gallery and the creation of a 1'055-square-metre extension over an existing c. 520-square-metre building. The surrounding park was redesigned not only to provide an outdoor exhibition space for sculpture, but also to serve an educational role. It is a water-conserving public park, the first of its kind in the Middle East.