The second best of Jordan
Too many tourists and salesfolk.
Brilliantly preserved, just like stepping back in time
Part two of my Jerash Tip with more picturesJordan has 8 of the decapolis cities (prosperous cities of the Roman Empire in the Middle East) of the middle east and Israel has one, (Syria has 2) located at Beit Shan, just across the Jordan River in the west bank. The 6 decapolis cities of Jordan are all located in the east bank of the Jordan River...more
Part one of my Jerash Tip with more picturesJordan has 8 of the decapolis cities (prosperous cities of the Roman Empire in the Middle East) of the middle east and Israel has one, (Syria has 2) located at Beit Shan, just across the Jordan River in the west bank. The 6 decapolis cities of Jordan are all located in the east bank of the Jordan River...more
The majestic Corinthian columns of the pronaos (front portico) of the Cella of the Temple of Artemis are the iconic symbol of Jerash. Twelve 16-metre columns topped by intricately carved Corinthian columns once held up the non-extant pediment of the temple, and all but one of these twelve columns are still standing, while two are missing their...more
The Cella (inner sanctuary) of the Temple of Artemis was built on a raised platform, towards the western end of the courtyard Temenos, with steps leading into the pronaos and the interior. It contains the iconic symbol of Jerash, the majestic Corinthian columns of the pronaos (described in a separate tip). Much like the rest of the temple, the...more
According to guidebooks, there are a few other excavated churches within the archaeological site of Jerash - some with mosaics - beyond the ones I've written about on this page. Unfortunately, I had a hard time locating them initially, and by the end of my visit I had run out of time. In addition, I came across countless other ruins that were not...more
Beautifully preserved, the colonnaded Cardo Maximus of Gerasa was the main north-south thoroughfare of the city. It connected the North Gate with the Oval Plaza, beyond which rose the Temple of Zeus, and was intersected by two decumani, the east-west streets. Arched Tetrapylons stood at the point of intersection between the Cardo and the two...more
Although some stone carvings remain, the interior of the Cella of the Temple of Artemis is rather plain. This is because the marble covering the walls was removed or destroyed long ago, along with the altar containing a large statue of the goddess Artemis. The only decorative elements that remain are a couple of "Syrian niches" and the carved...more
One of two great temples in Jerash, the Temple of Zeus dominates a hill overlooking Roman Gerasa. It is dedicated to the Hellenistic god Zeus, one of the two patron gods of the city who was equated with Roman Jupiter and Semitic Haddad. The structure that has survived to this day, albeit in ruins, was completed in 162 AD as a replacement to a first...more
As was customary in temple architecture in the Roman east, a spacious walled courtyard (the Temenos) surrounded the Temple of Artemis. This was a pagan Semitic tradition that was woven into Roman architecture in the Eastern Mediterranean and is rarely seen in the Roman West. The Temenos of the Temple of Artemis was accessed via a grand staircase...more
Overlooking the Cardo Maximus, this was the grandest Propylaeum in Gerasa. It provided access to the monumental stairway which led up to the second monumental entrance of the Temple of Artemis, the patron goddess of Gerasa who was equated with Roman Diana and Semitic Astarte. The second entrance, which has not survived, led into the Temenos, the...more
Unique to Jerash, this impressive oval-shaped plaza lies below the Temple of Zeus and marks the southern end of the Cardo Maximus. It measures 90 metres in length and 80 metres in width and is surrounded by a colonnade of 56 Ionic columns. The ground is paved with limestone in a pattern that traces the oval shape of the Plaza. It is thought to have...more
Dedicated to Saints Cosmos and Damianus, this church is the northernmost of the Three Churches. Its outer walls are intact (or have been rebuilt), which made it easy to block access to the church to protect its wonderful and nearly complete mosaic floors. They contain human and animal depictions, along with floral and geometric motifs. Luckily, it...more
Housed in an old villa south of the archaeological site of Jerash, Lebanese House may be deceiving on the outside. Upon entering the villa, the extremely large dining area and abundant staff make it clear that this place is an establishment, and the menu further elaborates by naming a surprisingly long list of famous people and foreign and local...more
In most tourist hotels and restaurants, there always seems to be a buffet available of varying standards. The food in this restaurant was pretty good and quite a lot of choice.You can eat a lot cheaper if you go to local places rather than tourist places, and I mean a lot cheaper, but this place was about 10JD for 3 courses and I'd recommend it as...more
I was starving when I walked in here. Situated at the center of the tourist bustle, Jerash Resthouse offers an outside and indoor seating. Basically you grab a plate and load up at the buffet. They offer a variety of local foods as well as a nice attempt at Western style cuisine. I found their stir fry with noodles very tasty. At the end of the...more
There is a multitude of tours that feature Jerash as part of a day trip from amman as Jerash is just 47 kilometers in distance to Amman along the Mountain Highway to Jerash Governorate. these tours offer half day tours of Jerash from amman or whole day tours with jerash, pella and the dead sea as a day tour combination. Most of these tour companies...more
You can take a bus from Amman for less than a dinar. It's a journey of about an hour or so. To get here from Madaba, you need to get a bus via Ajlun or Amman (preferably Ajlun and combine it with a visit to the castle there). Alternatively you can hire a taxi. For a round trip, including Ajlun, you can expect to pay in the region of 30-40 JD.more
In Amman, at Abdali Station, take the local mini bus to Jerash. The Fare is 400Fils or 0.400JD. Buses leave when they are full or approximately every hour. The Drop off is at a gas station, 1 block up is the ancient Roman City, its main Gate is clearly visible. On the way back just cross the street where you were dropped off. There are are two...more
When you visit the South Theatre is very nice to hear the music play from this Jordanian-Scottish band. They play classic musics and Jordanian ones. It is a great experience to try the wonderful amplification of the theatre!!!
Another thing to remember of this fantastic country!!
This probably can be said of just about anywhere, but beware of unauthorized "guides" who approach you inside the park. They may strike up a conversation and start telling you about the sites-- seeming very friendly and knowledgable-- only to demand an extortionate amount of money in return. The tourist police don't seem to mind.It's worth it to...more
As you walk around the city you will be occasionally approached by people trying to sell ancient coins, and other items supposedly dug from the ruins. The guys aren't pushy, and the items they sell are quite possibly genuine, given the ease at which some people have reported making their own discoveries. The problem is that it is illegal, not to...more
When my driver told me how much it cost to enter Jerash, 8 Jordanian Dinar (about US$16), I asked him how the locals could possibly afford such a fee. He told me not to worry, because there was a different price for Jordanians. They pay only half a dinar!
Fair enough, I guess. It's easily worth 8 dinars. But if you have a Jordanian passport, you might want to exercise your right to a discount.
You can easily spend one, two ore even more hours inside the site! You have to know that except for the ruins there is nothing else inside!!
Because of the sun, the sand and the dust you quickly become thirsty!!
Better buy a couple of bottles of water outside before coming in.
If you don't your only option would be to buy some water to the local kids. They seem to have water supply in big cans. I wouldn't trust this kind of water too much and I was glad to have my own bottle with me ;-)
Even more, there is precisely a little shop close to the entrance and it is not too overpricy! You simply have to cross a street...
Most visitors to Jerash stick to the archaeological site and completely ignore the modern town on the other side of the river. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I had to do the same, but this did not stop me from making a quick tour by car (we had rented our own car). While it is typical of modern Middle Eastern towns, Jerash does have a few...more
Relatively few people make it to the North Gate, with most turning off at either Temple of Artemis or at the very latest the North Theatre. For those who do, the North Gate was built in the early 2nd Century AD on orders of Claudius Severus. The North Gate did, in a way, feel a little bit more genuine than the South Gate, not having been restored...more
Beside the Ruins of the Jerash Decapolis, which is the maint tourist attraction of Jerash, the buidlings around the decapolis are well preserved and that the City has a multi-cultural population as waves of palestinian, syrian, circassian, iraqi people came and settled to Jerash and you will see these influences when you walk by the city and see...more
The contrast between the Roman ruins of Gerasa and modern Jerash was quite striking. The modern part was built over the residential quarter of Roman Gerasa and is separated from the archaeological site by the Jerash River (ancient Chrysorhoas River). Because both banks of the river slope upwards, they have panoramic views of each other, thus making...more
The landscape around Jerash is astonishingly Mediterranean, despite being fairly distant from its shores, and rather close to the desert. I was quite surprised to see how fertile and forested the hills were. They included olive groves and pine forests. Attached are a few photos of the terrain surrounding Jerash.more