Jerash Jordan Triumphal Arch

Jerash is a Feast For the Imagination

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Jordan Trip

Petra may be the top attraction in Jordan, but I was equally captivated by Jerash, a well-preserved Roman city that is easily visited on a day trip from Amman.

Jerash Jordan Triumphal Arch

The  Arch of Hadrian

The city was originally known as Gerasa. Today the ruins stand as a triumphant reminder of what it once was: a prosperous city of the Decapolis. Walking through the site (with the help of our guide, of course) we were able to imagine just what it might have looked like during its height in the Bronze Age. It is one of the most intact cities of its time left today.

Colonnade Jerash

Colonnade Oval

jerash amman jordan archEspecially impressive is the glorious south theatre, once home to the city's cultural scene. The Romans certainly knew how to build an amphitheatre with amazing sound quality. We played here for a bit, testing our voices against the naturally built amplification system.

jerash jordan amphitheatrejerash jordan south amphitheatreThen it was time to walk along the main street, the cardo maximus. Notice the way the road was constructed, with the blocks placed diagonally in order to prevent noise pollution, accidents and costly maintenance to vehicles. If only every city planner took such care these days.

cardo maximum jerash ruins jordan

jerash jordan amman

Every luxury city has a shopping plaza and Jerash was no different. Archaeologists have even been able to determine what type of shop likely existed in each part of the ruins. It's easy to imagine the women shopping here while the men hung out in the centre having drinks.

piazza jerash jordan

butcher shop jerash jordan

This was once a butcher's block - notice the animal carving.

The places of worship have some of the most impressive architecture and detail:

Nymphaeum jerash jordan

The Nymphaeum

steps zeus temple jerash jordan

The steps leading to the Temple of Zeus, with a resting platform for climbers at every seventh step.

Columns throughout the city came in different sizes and designs but the largest were reserved for the major temple, the Temple of Zeus. Sitting high above the rest of Jerash, this Hellenistic temple allows for wonderful views of the site as well as the modern city of Jerash today. Visitors with interest in architecture, archaeology and anthropology could easily spend a full day exploring here.

zeus temple jerash

Zeus Temple

Getting there: This is an easy day trip from Jordan's capital city, Amman. Take the highway heading north-west towards Salt and follow the brown signs for Jerash, or catch one of the frequent buses from the Trababour bus station. For lunch, we recommend the excellent restaurant Artemis, which is near the site.

What's your favourite historical site in which to use your imagination?

Our Jordan experience was sponsored by the Jordan Tourism Board and we thank them for a fascinating journey.


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9 years ago

I always read about Petra, it’s really nice to learn about another place to visit in Jordan. And yet another reason I can’t wait to go and explore this country!

Reply to  dtravelsround

I actually enjoyed Jerash just as much as Petra – it’s different but still completely fascinating!

9 years ago

Gorgeous! I love historic ruins, and especially the columns. Your pics are awesome.

Thanks so much!! =)

9 years ago

I love crumbling old buildings – I really regret not getting my archaeology degree for sure.

Me too! That would be fascinating to study =)

9 years ago

Yes: very few people visit Jerash which is just an hour’s or so drive from Amman. And yet, it is as extraordinary. awe-inspiring and wonderful in its own way as Petra. And – it is very well preserved. 

Reply to  Omar

Thanks for sharing that, Omar! =)

9 years ago

lovely pictures

Reply to  zablon mukuba

Thanks so much, Zablon =)

Thank you for working with Straigh To The Point.
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