Guide: Ancient Cities in Jordan

July 24th 2023 in Explore
Guide: Ancient Cities in Jordan

Ancient Cities in Jordan: A Guide for History Buffs

Jordan is a country rich in history and culture, with many ancient sites that date back to thousands of years ago. If you are a history buff who wants to travel in Jordan, you will be amazed by the diversity and beauty of these ancient cities. Here are some of the must-see historical sites in Jordan that you should not miss.

Petra

Petra is the most famous and iconic ancient city in Jordan, and one of the new seven wonders of the world. It was the capital of the Nabatean kingdom, a nomadic Arab tribe that flourished in the region from the 4th century BC to the 1st century AD. Petra is known for its rock-cut architecture, carved into the red sandstone cliffs that surround the city. The most impressive monument is the Treasury, a majestic facade that greets visitors at the end of a narrow gorge called the Siq. Petra also has many other attractions, such as the Royal Tombs, the Monastery, the Street of Facades, and the Roman Theater.

Jerash

Jerash is one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the world, and a testament to the influence and prosperity of the Roman Empire in the Middle East. Jerash was founded in the 1st century BC, and reached its peak in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, when it became a major trade and cultural center. Jerash boasts many impressive monuments, such as the Oval Plaza, the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Artemis, the Nymphaeum, the Cardo Maximus, and the Arch of Hadrian.

Amman

Amman is the capital and largest city of Jordan, and a modern metropolis that blends tradition and innovation. Amman has a long and diverse history, dating back to the ancient times when it was known as Rabbath Ammon, then Philadelphia under the Greeks and Romans, then Ammon under the Islamic dynasties. Amman has many historical sites that reflect its rich heritage, such as the Citadel, which sits on a hill overlooking the city and contains ruins from various periods, such as the Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace, and the Byzantine Church. Amman also has a Roman Theater, a Folklore Museum, an Archaeological Museum, and many mosques and churches.

Madaba

Madaba is a small town near Amman that is famous for its mosaics, especially the Madaba Map, which is the oldest surviving map of the Holy Land. The Madaba Map dates back to the 6th century AD, and covers an area from Lebanon to Egypt, with Jerusalem as its center. The map is located in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, and depicts many biblical sites and landmarks, such as Bethlehem, Jericho, Mount Sinai, and the Dead Sea. Madaba also has many other churches and museums that display beautiful mosaics from different periods and stles.

Kerak

Kerak is a town that lies on the ancient King’s Highway, a trade route that connected Egypt to Syria. Kerak is best known for its Crusader castle, which was built in the 12th century by Baldwin I of Jerusalem. The castle was a strategic stronghold that controlled the access to Jerusalem and Damascus, and witnessed many battles and sieges between the Crusaders and the Muslims. The castle is well-preserved and offers stunning views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

These are just some of the ancient cities in Jordan that you should visit if you are a history buff who wants to travel in Jordan. There are many more historical sites that you can explore and learn from in this fascinating country.