On our second day in Jordan, we went up north to Jerash, the settlement of one of the most well-preserved Greco-Roman sites outside Rome – the ancient city of Gerasa.
Jerash lies short of 50 km from the Syrian border and makes a very good day trip from Amman, the capital, that is half an hour drive away.
On this trip we were with a Jordanian Spanish speaking guide that showed us around for half of the time, besides handling tickets and speaking Arabic with the locals, as the few words we knew clearly weren’t enough. We spend the other half exploring Jerash by ourselves.
After having been in Rome, it’s really not that easy to get impressed by Roman monuments anywhere else. Factors like size, quantity or conservation all matter and in this very case they all fit together! It must be one of the best-preserved sites we’ve ever seen, even in the diversity of monuments. Definitely a fully fledged Roman city.
A map is probably the best way to put the words in the right place.
Time for the visit now, a very photographic one. Read more…
Our visit started through the Arch of Hadrian towards the south gate and stopping at the Forum. Along the way to the left, the huge Hippodrome can be found.
Up a gentle hill was the South Theatre, with an impressive capacity of 3000 seats. We had a small show of local kids dancing to a couple of guys playing. Worth going up the stairs for a good overview of the city.
Afterwards, we went to see the mosaics of a Christian church plus Artemis temple.
Down in the main street, in the Cardo maximus, one could see how impressive the whole place looks. On the floor, there are still spots with damage made on the stone by the chariots centuries ago.
Our guided tour ended here and we saw the rest on our own.
The northern part is how far we went. Time to visit a smaller theatre and awesome colonnaded streets.
On our way back we stopped again at the forum. Time for another picture.
Close to lunch time we finished our visit of Jerash. A morning well spent! Overall the place is very well-preserved, with all sorts of roman buildings to admire. In our opinion, the best bits are the South theatre due to its dimension and the colonnaded street. Also, the temples are very interesting.
If you fancy old architecture and especially Roman one, this is clearly a must-see attraction in the region.
Have you been to Jerash? Let us know what you think of the place!
It’s very common in Jordan to be in a tour group (big or small) and this will probably get you in as part of your package. For the others, admission costs 8 JOD (Jordanian Dinar). Save at least two to three hours to visit.
We visited in late April and the weather was just fine. In fact, it even rained a little bit afterwards. Nevertheless, it can get very hot. Water was sold outside for 1 JOD 1/2 a liter. All sorts of typical souvenirs can be found outside the site by the parking lot in a big tent.
Very safe place. Tourist Police in the vicinity.
Tourist board – visitjordan.com