Jerash, Jordan

Roman theater, Jerash, Jordan

Roman theater, Jerash, Jordan

Gerasa (modern Jerash), 30 miles north of Amman, is the second most visited tourist site in Jordan, after Petra, and one of the world’s most extensive Roman sites outside of Italy.

There is evidence that the area has been inhabited since the Neolithic period but serious development began with the Hellenistic Greeks in the 3rd-century BCE. The city grew and prospered under Roman rule and was a member of the Decapolis, ten politically important city-states in the far eastern reaches of the empire. At its height, in the 2nd-century CE, 20,000 people lived in Gerasa.

Temple of Artemis, Jerash, Jordan

Temple of Artemis, Jerash, Jordan

The ancient remains sprawl across an elevated, rolling plain with the modern town and cultivated fields looking on from the surrounding slopes. Much has yet to be uncovered. Demonstrations of gladiator fights and chariot races take place in the hippodrome every day except Tuesday. For three weeks each summer (around late July-early August) the site hosts the Jerash Festival, an acclaimed arts festival with theater, music and dance performances staged among the ruins.

Oval Plaza, Jerash, Jordan

Oval Plaza, Jerash, Jordan

Click to see Jordan tours that include visits to Jerash.

NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 64

Known as the “Citadel,” the site pictured above is located on the highest of seven hills that make up Amman, the capital city of our mystery country. The area has been continuously inhabited at least since the Bronze Age and excavations have only scratched the surface. Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad remains have been uncovered to date, including the Roman Hercules Temple above, a water cistern and palace from the Umayyad period and a Byzantine church. The national archaeological museum is also located at the Citadel.

Can you name that country? 
See below for answers.

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We get a lot of questions about Israel border crossing. It’s very common to combine Israel and Jordan as travel destinations and somewhat common to combine Israel and Egypt. Continue reading