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Royal Palaces
Basman Palace
© Royal Hashemite Court Archives

As Jordan developed and its government expanded, Basman Palace was built in 1950 to provide an administrative centre for the country's internal and external affairs.

The headquarters of the Royal Hashemite Court, it housed the offices of the monarch and the princes and princesses, as well as the chief of Royal Hashemite Court. King Abdullah I named the new palace Basman, meaning, “smiling and cheerful,” to harmonize with Raghadan. Basman was built in two phases and has undergone several expansions. Its design is a blend of traditional Arab and modern architecture.

King Hussein kept his working office in Basman; it is now the office of the chief of the Royal Hashemite Court. Like Raghadan, Basman was not spared episodes of destruction. During the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, the rear quarters of Basman were bombed after nearby Marka Airport.

© Royal Hashemite Court Archives

The palace was empty at the time. The subsequent reconstruction work is evident in the subtle difference in colouration between the original and newer stones.

The flag of the Hashemite Monarchy waves above Basman Palace; it is raised only when the monarch is present in the Royal Court. The main entrance of Basman is marked by the signature of King Abdullah I, engraved into a green-coloured stone above the main door. This entrance leads into the Greeting Hall, where two Circassian Royal Guards stand at the doors of the Office of the Monarch. A Quranic verse is inscribed at the base of the glass dome that tops the Greeting Hall. The reigning king meets well-wishers in the Greeting Hall during religious holidays such as Eid Al Adha and Eid Al Fitr.

 
© Royal Hashemite Court Archives
 
© Royal Hashemite Court Archives
Visitors to Basman are inevitably treated to at least one demitasse of hot, fragrant Arabic coffee by Nayesh Daghesh (Abu Megbel), who has been welcoming guests to the Royal Court for more than five decades.
The Hall of Pictures, on the main floor of Basman Palace, houses portraits of the Hashemite monarchs, as well as some of the Hashemites' noble ancestors. The Hall of Pictures is notable for its elegant and simple woodwork, as well as its ornamented ceiling. The unusual chandeliers over the table are crafted from Turkish brass. The Hall of Pictures is used regularly for official meetings involving the monarch and the government or foreign delegations. Although the Dining Hall is used for highly ceremonial occasions, such as state banquets for visiting heads of state, it follows the pattern of modest elegance reflected throughout Basman..
© Royal Hashemite Court Archives