Jordan News | Latest News from Jordan, MENA
November 29 2021 10:12 PM ˚
e-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

The ancient site of Mar Elias: An archaeological, faith-oriented, and nature attraction

Aside from religious pilgrimage, Mar Elias, 15km northwest of Ajloun, is a good place to visit to enjoy the countryside of Ajloun, as it is located in a hilly area that is covered with oak and pine tr
Aside from religious pilgrimage, Mar Elias, 15km northwest of Ajloun, is a good place to visit to enjoy the countryside of Ajloun, as it is located in a hilly area that is covered with oak and pine trees, providing spectacular views. (Photos: Wikimedia)
  • +
  • -
AMMAN — Designated as one of five Christian pilgrimage sites in Jordan, Mar Elias, 15km northwest of Ajloun, is thought to be the birthplace of Prophet Elijah, who is mentioned in both the Quran and the Old Testament.اضافة اعلان


Aside from religious pilgrimage, Mar Elias, 15km northwest of Ajloun, is a good place to visit to enjoy the countryside of Ajloun, as it is located in a hilly area that is covered with oak and pine trees, providing spectacular views. (Photos: Wikimedia)

In the year 2000 and after the visit of Pope John Paul II, Mar Elias was designated by the Vatican as a pilgrimage site. Ever since, people from around the world pay visits to this holy place.

The Bible’s book of Kings mentions Elijah as “Elijah the Thishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead.”

Thisbite is derived from Thisbe, a village located 15km northwest of Ajloun, referred to today as Lesteb.

In the Holy Koran, Al Nabi Elias (Prophet Elijah) is mention three times as a prophet, and, according to Muslim scholars, he was sent to the people of Baalbek in Modern-day Lebanon.

Aside from religious pilgrimage, both Mar Elias and the village of Lesteb are a good place to visit to enjoy the countryside of Ajloun, especially in the summer, as they are located in a hilly area that is covered with oak and pine trees, providing spectacular views.


Aside from religious pilgrimage, Mar Elias, 15km northwest of Ajloun, is a good place to visit to enjoy the countryside of Ajloun, as it is located in a hilly area that is covered with oak and pine trees, providing spectacular views. (Photos: Wikimedia)

They can also be visited along with the adjoining Ajloun Forest Reserve and Ajloun Castle, as they are minutes away by car.

Arriving at Mar Elias, visitors can see the monastery; a combination of two basilica-style churches that were built in the Byzantine era, in commemoration of Prophet Elijah.

 The upper church extends over and area of around 2,000sqm, which makes it the largest Byzantine church in Jordan.

Several artifacts were found at the site during the archaeological works conducted by Jordanian experts in 1999, including the mosaic inscription that mentions Elijah and other stone and metal findings, which can be seen at the museum at Ajloun Castle.

Five kilometers west of Mar Elias, stands Lesteb, another historical site where visitors can see the archaeological village and mosque.

The mosque is believed to have been built in the 8th century AD, thus, considered as one of the oldest mosques in Jordan.

Lesteb is also known in Muslim traditions as the hometown of the 15th century Jurist Ibrahim bin Mohammad Al Ajlouni, who served as the judge of Safad and Damascus.

Read more Lifestyle 
NEWS RELATED TO