If you have checked my previous post about Jerash , right from the the arc of hadrian till oval plaza , Jerash offers stunning views with amazing facts. Post Oval Plaza, make sure to visit the incredible Temple of Zeus.
Temple of Zeus
One of the most important monuments of this archaeological site is the Temple of Zeus. The first worshiping place on the site was probably a cave, used from the seventh to the sixth centuries B.C. This worshiping location was kept through time, and a sanctuary with a wide sacred courtyard was built during the early Roman period. During the second century A.D., the building was heavily altered, and the current great Temple of Zeus was built. The sanctuary, located on top of a hill towering above the city, was preceded by a monumental stairway leading to the sacred courtyard. Although erosion, earthquakes and looting have damaged the site, its scale and magnificence are still striking.
After you come out of Temple of Zeus, on the western side of the cardo maximus is the agora, where people gathered for public meetings around the central fountain. It was the grocery market of ancient Jerash which presents a complicated archaeological picture, because parts of the structure were reused in Byzantine and Islamic times. The heart of the building, pictured here, is a Roman-period courtyard with cruciform fountain that is surrounded by Corinthian columns.
Church of St Cosmos & St Damianus
When Christianity became the state religion under Emperor Constantine in 324 A.D, all Roman monuments that were tainted by so-called pagan practices were abandoned. These structures were subsequently pilfered for building materials as Roman cities competed with one another to build glorious churches and cathedrals. A total of 15 churches lie among Jerash’s ruins, with the Church of St Cosmos & St Damianus one of the best preserved.
Built about AD 165 and enlarged in 235, the beautiful little North Theater was most likely used for government meetings rather than artistic performances. Originally it had 14 rows of seats, with two vaulted passageways leading to the front of the theater, as well as five internal arched corridors leading to the upper rows. Many of the seats are inscribed with the names of delegates who voted in the city council.
South of the nymphaeum, an elaborate staircase rises from the cardo maximus to Jerash’s only cathedral. Little more than a modest Byzantine church, it was constructed in the second half of the 4th century on the site of earlier temples. At the height of its glory the cathedral consisted of a soaring basilica supported by three naves and it boasted a magnificent portal finely decorated with elaborate marble carvings. It’s a fascinating insight into the many periods of Jerash’s history.
Nymphaeum of Gerasa
The major well ornamented nymphaeum of Gerasa, dedicated to the Nymphs and constructed in 191 AD, partly restored but without any statue. Note the holes for the water pipes. Water cascaded through seven carved lions’ heads into small basins on the side walk and overflowed from there through drains into the underground sewer system.
Temple of Artemis
The Temple of Artemis is a Roman temple in Jerash, Jordan. The temple was built on one of the highest points and dominated the whole city. Ruins of the temple are still one of the most remarkable monuments left of the ancient city of Jerash.
If you visit on a partly cloudy day, you’re in for a treat, as the sandstone pillars of the temple light up like bars of liquid gold each time the sun comes out. It’s a magical sight, and magic – or a sense of the world beyond – was exactly what the architects of this gem of a building would have been trying to capture in their design.
It was a time well spent in the Jerash 🙂 . It stuffed our minds with so much of history about Jordan’s past. A must visit for people who love history 🙂 .
I hope these pics will make you visit Jordan whenever you plan your next travel. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here.
TIPS AND INFORMATION
1.If you are planning to explore Jordan completely , better to opt for a Jordan Pass from this link https://www.jordanpass.jo/ instead of getting the visa from embassy or On-Arrival. If you buy a Jordan Pass, you can save up to 40 USD per person.
2. If you want to explore amman’s historical sites, better to book accommodation near to the downtown.
3.JD – Jordanian Dinar , USD – United States Dollars
4.Never miss to visit the Hashem restuarant which is one of the oldest and pretty famous in Jordan.
5.You can use Uber for transportation in Amman which is less expensive compared to normal taxi’s.