I was fortunate enough to have been hosted by the wonderful people at the Jordan Tourism Board for a guided tour of this wonderful country just a couple weeks ago and one of the big highlights was Jerash. I’ll be doing a series of posts about the things I got to do and see over the next few weeks.
The Roman Ruins of Jerash
Jerash has some of the most well preserved Roman ruins anywhere in the world. Back in Roman times, the city was known as Gerasa and was one of the ten Decapolis cities that ruled the area. It has been occupied since the Bronze Age and achieved notoriety when Emperor Hadrian visited Jerash in AD 129-130 — ergo the Arch of Hadrian shown down below.
This was a site that I likely would not have gone to, without the Jordan Tourism Board setting it up. I hadn’t heard of it before, though I had been through the area in 2009. It is in the northern part of the country which is lush and green and hilly — the breadbasket of Jordan — which is beautiful in its own right.
In my opinion, it is a can’t miss site. You are not going to get the chance to see such extensive and well preserved ruins almost anywhere in the world. And unlike Palmyra in Syria, which is also massive, in Jerash, you can truly get a sense of the activity of the place. You see where the merchants set up shop every day. There are two amphitheaters that are both in great shape.
And in the hippodrome, you witness a chariot race and a gladiator exhibition. More on that soon… after I get back from the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman.
You literally could not be lucky enough to find a site for Roman ruins as preserved as Jerash.
My friend Nellie took some wonderful photos of the Roman ruins at Jerash also.