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November 27 2021 1:04 AM ˚
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Jerash: The treasures of one of the best preserved Roman cities in the world

Jerash
(Photo: Jordan News)
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AMMAN — A one-hour drive north from Amman, the second largest tourist attraction in Jordan and one the best preserved Roman cities in the world is perched.اضافة اعلان



Inside its Roman walls, Jerash, a one-hour drive north from Amman, contains a number of remarkable 2,000-year-old temples, theaters, arenas and more. (Photos: Ahmed Bani Mustafa/Jordan News)

Inside its Roman walls, Jerash (Gerasa in Greco-Roman times) contains a number of remarkable 2,000-year-old temples, theaters, arenas and more.
After buying the entry tickets, visitors will pass through the Hadrian’s Gate, a 21m high triumphal archway that was built in honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian during his visit to Jerash (129AD).




Inside its Roman walls, Jerash, a one-hour drive north from Amman, contains a number of remarkable 2,000-year-old temples, theaters, arenas and more. (Photos: Ahmed Bani Mustafa/Jordan News)

Next to the gate is the Hippodrome, which is the sport field of the city, which back in the day seated 15,000 spectators to watch then-popular chariot races.

The two structures mentioned above are just the beginning of the visit, as they are located outside the walls of the ancient city; the South Gate (AKA Philadelphia’s Gate) is the official entrance to the city.

Once you are inside, the magnificence of Roman city planning starts. The Oval Piazza serves as the main public square and the “hub” that connects all corners of the city together.

On the highest hills of the city lie the temples of Artemis and Zeus, with a third temple that was repurposed into a cathedral in the 4th century.

Among the highlights that Jerash is famous for, is the main street, known as the Cardo Maximus. It spans 1km south to north, intersecting with 2 other colonnades and forming the city’s main grid.

For fully scheduled tourists, the visit to the city can take some three to four hours; however, Jerash needs at least a full day if you’re planning on exploring everything.

Although there are only two small hotels nearby, fortunately, there is a good number of accommodations run by locals using online reservation systems.

Ancient Gerasa was built on the sides of a valley known as the Golden River, which gave the city its ancient nickname (Antioch on the Golden River).

Just outside the archaeological site, the Jerash Roman Bridge is one of the oldest and biggest bridges in the world that are still in use today.

The bridge takes visitors to the modern part of Jerash, where more attractions can be visited, such as the Great Eastern Baths, Byzantine churches, and the city’s oldest mosques, in addition to the old marketplace.

The Hamidi Mosque was the first mosque to be built in Jerash in 1878, and the Hashimi Mosque was the second, built in the 1930’s.

Just 2km north of Jerash, Al-Birketein is a unique Roman complex dedicated to festivities and watersports.

On the outskirts of Jerash there is a number of attractions, such as the Ma’wa Wildlife Reserve, a permanent home for confiscated and rescued wildlife that cannot be sent back to its original habitat or released into the wild.

Another recommended attraction is Dibeen Forest Reserve, a mountainous area covered with Aleppo Pine and Oak trees, and considered the easternmost extension of the natural pine trees in the Mediterranean region.

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