14 February, 2010

Sights and Photos from Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan

Few countries have as many archaeological and historical sites as Jordan; a number of these sites are within Amman and many are just a short distance from the city. Outside Italy, hilly Jerash or Jarash or Gerasa or the Pompeii of the East - is one of the largest and one of the most well preserved Roman architecture. The ruins date back to about 2,000 years; within the same site, archaeologists have found ruins dating to even a further thousands of years back. In less than an hour by road north of Amman, you can reach the site and be able to see some of the most impressive, most spectacular, beautifully preserved Roman ruins:

Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
 Above: Hadrian's Arch, the main entrance, built to honor Emperor Hadrian. It is when you enter here and go inside that you realize how large and grand the site is.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  Above: Temple of Zeus replica model in the museum. A large part of the real temple is still standing.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
 Above: at the Hippodrome, a corridor which leads to where horse-drawn chariots reenact Roman battles and gladiators.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
 Above: Jerash Archaeological Museum which has a collection of artifacts and items found during excavation.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  During the rainy season, Jerash becomes much greener.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  Above: ringed by ionic pillars, the Oval Plaza with modern Jerash in the back-ground.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  Above: the Cardo Maximus, the colonnaded main road paved with stones, almost intact.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  Above: parts of a temple. It is amazing that a large part of the ruins still survive today almost as they were.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  Above: a part of the old temple.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  Surprisingly, the old site is rather large and needs time to be able to explore all of it.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  There are two amphitheaters at the ruins. Above: the very well preserved South Theater built earlier than the other one below .
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  Above: as well preserved, is the North Theater.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  Above: a part of the very impressive old Nymphaeum fountain, built with marble. The upper level has lions' curved heads.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  The paradoi of the theater has side entrances. One can only fantasize at what went on here.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  Above: high up is the Temple of Zeus.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
  It is not only the ruins that are very much worth seeing around Jerash. The olive trees, green hills and rolling valleys are just as beautiful and pleasing to view. A short distance from Jerash is the stunningly, captivating scenery around the King Talal Dam - below.
Jerash, Kingdom of Jordan
 The Romans left many ruins all over the Mediterranean region. Many were built in a very similar way with: colonnaded streets, theaters, temples and fountains. Excavations on the ruins in Jerash started in the 1920s and still continue to this day; experts say that there is still much more to discover under the ruins. Every year, here, during summers, the Jerash Festival - now named the Jordan Festival - is held; it still is unclear whether the festival will take place this year. It showcases a wide array of singers, musical and folklore troupes, poetry readings, symphony orchestras, ballet, Shakespearean theater, handicrafts and art shows. It is amazing that very few people, including Jordanians, visit the spectacular Jerash ruins; most tourists, thousands every day, simply go south. South, through Wadi Musa and on to the World wonder and a site like no other: Petra.

More on Jerash here and here.


+ Other Wonderful Places in the Kingdom of Jordan:
The River Jordan
The Dead Sea
The Citadel
The Roman Theater
Petra
Kahaf Ahl Kahf