Madaba Mosaic Map 22

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There were a variety of things that surprised me in a positive way during my trip to Jordan that the Jordan Tourism Board set up and sponsored for me — the ruins at Jerash and a natural spa near the Dead Sea — and some that didn’t surprise, but were awesome, like Petra and Wadi Rum.

Add another spot to the surprise side of the ledger: the Church of the Map in Madaba. The Church of St. George is a Greek Orthodox Church in the town of Madaba, about an hour from Amman.  It dates from the 6th century and is the oldest cartographic representation of the Holy Land.

The map is not complete, as the town was destroyed by earthquake in 746 and largely abandoned. The current church was rebuilt on the site in 1894, when the mosaic was rediscovered. It is a truly inspiring site and should be on your list, when you go visit the wonderful country of Jordan.

 church of the map mosaic Madaba

the church is rather small, but wonderfully preserved

church of the map madaba jordan mosaic map holy land

Jordan River at top running into the Dead Sea

church of the map madaba jordan paintings

some of the paintings on the walls

church of the map madaba jordan mosaic map holy land

more close up of the map - I think Jerusalem

mosaic jesus church of the map madaba jordan

Mosaic Jesus

mosaic map church of the map madaba jordan

different part of the map

paintings church of the map madaba jordan

more paintings on the wall of the church

close up mosiac map madaba jordan

another close up of the map - Jordan River and Dead Sea at top, and the walled city of Jerusalem

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About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

22 thoughts on “Madaba Mosaic Map

  • Angela

    This is so fascinating, I love visiting lesser known historic sites, sometimes I feel they reveal more of the past of a place than the most tackled tourist attractions.

  • Juan Haffer

    Those pictures look so interesting. The great variety in Christianity is really amazing to see when one is able to go to the middle east and view different places first hand.

  • DTravelsRound

    I am impressed at how well-preserved the pictures and mosiacs are in the church. Very interesting! I am still kicking myself for not going there when I was so close by!

  • Hogga

    I cant even imagine how long some of those pieces took to make….

    I bet you Jesus is trying to do the rock on symbol with his hand in that 5th photo… true story.

  • Federico

    It is usually interesting to find old buildings, many time churches, in places where you really did not expect to find anything interesting at all. Make you think what faith can do to humans…

  • Dina

    Wow, the drawing and the mosaics are really cool! I really like the indoor appearance of that church, haven’t seen that type yet.

  • jade

    Love all the mosiacs- I feel like art is such a fascinating way to learn more about a culture and a city. These are stunning.

  • Nicole

    I find ancient maps fascinating. I hadn’t seen one as a mosaic before. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Giulia

    This looks so different from any other mosaic I ever saw! So “messy” but still so perfect. I like the white writings on the blue background, always a great pairing for colors.:) And the “dimension-less cities”. Beautiful!!!

  • Justin Hamlin

    Love those little, out of the way sites. They can be found everywhere, but as someone else said here, they lend themselves to the true history of a region without being a major tourism draw.

  • Gaby

    Wonderful. I spent my last three summers on an archaeological excavation in Madaba, Jordan and I’m so sad that I was unable to go this summer. These pics remind me of a place I got to know as home. Thanks.

  • Erin

    Neat-o 🙂 I love really old churches – you can literally feel the history in the air.

  • Leslie (Downtown Traveler)

    Great photos! I visited the church on my trip to Jordan but my photos didn’t come out well. What a beautiful — and historic– attraction.

  • abegail

    I love really old churches – you can literally feel the history in the air.Thanks for sharing this beautiful photo!

  • Carmella Mueller

    What a beautiful — and historic– attraction. Wow, another interesting site I never knew about. Neat-o I love really old churches – you can literally feel the history in the air.

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