Jerash rose to prominence when it was conquered by the Romans and it was established as a trade city. For a few centuries, Jerash grew to become a prospering Roman city, with theatres, temples, a market place, baths and a forum. After the 3rd century CE, due to wars, invasions, earth quakes, and changing of trade routes, the city declined and was eventually even deserted, only to be repopulated in the 19th century.
For centuries, the city has been hidden under the ground and the sand has protected it very well. Excavations got under way in the 1920s and continue to this day. Although apparently large parts of the city have been uncovered, it is still estimated that around 90% of the city is still buried under the ground. Approaching the city from the South, you first walk past the Triumphal Arch and along the hippodrome to the actual entry. When you enter the city through the South Gate, you become aware of its size and the grandness of its monuments. On your left is the Temple of Zeus, ahead the oval-shaped forum, and from the forum you see a colonnaded street stretch out to the North Gate.
Climbing up to the left you find the South Theatre, probably the best-preserved building of Jerash and still sometimes the scene of local performances. From here, you can stroll along the ruins, and fantasize about how it must have been in its heydays. Highlights include the various churches, some of which still with mosaics on the floor, the Nymphaeum, and the Temple of Artemis, the Goddess of Jerash. Walking back through the colonnaded street you wonder how it is possible that there are so few visitors to this interesting town.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Jerash (Jordan). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Jerash. Read more about this site.