Qasr Amra often Quseir Amra or Qusayr Amra, is the best-known of the desert castles located in present-day eastern Jordan. It was built early in the 8th century (probably between 711 and 715) by the Umayyadcaliph Walid I whose dominance of the region was rising at the time. It is considered one of the most important examples of early Islamic art and architecture.
The building is actually the remnant of a larger complex that included an actual castle, of which only the foundation remains. What stands today is a small country cabin, meant as a royal retreat, without any military function. It is most notable for the frescoes that remain on the ceilings inside, which depict hunting, naked women and, above one bath chamber, an accurate representation of the zodiac. These have led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of three in the country. That status, and its location along Jordan's major east-west highway, relatively close to Amman, have made it a frequent tourist destination
Qasr Amra is located on the north side of Jordan's Highway 40, roughly 85 kilometres (53 mi) from Amman and 21 kilometres (13 mi) southwest of Al-Azraq. It is currently within a large area fenced off in barbed wire. An unpaved parking lot is located at the southeast corner, just off the road. A small visitor's center collects admission fees. The castle is located in the west of the enclosed area, below a small rise.
It is a low building made from limestone and basalt. The northern block, two stories high, features a triple-vaulted ceiling over the main entrance on the east facade. The western wings feature smaller vaults or domes.
Traces of stone walls used to enclose the site suggest it was part of a 25-hectare (62-acre) complex; there are remains of a castle which could have temporarily housed a garrison of soldiers. Just to the southeast of the building is a well 40 metres (130 ft) deep, and traces of the animal-driven lifting