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Jordan: Madaba Mosaic churches

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Madaba Mosaic churches | Jordan | Asia

[Visited: April 2002]

Some of the most remarkable mosaics in Madaba can be found in its (former) churches. The most famous is without doubt St. George's Church, one that is still in use as a Greek Orthodox Church. In fact, upon entering the empty church I started to doubt whether this was actually the site of the well-known Palestine map mosaic. At first sight, it looked as if it was a regularly church.

Picture of Madaba Mosaic churches (Jordan): Floor mosaic, Apostles Church, Madaba

Then, from behind one of the columns, a man appeared who asked me for an entrance fee, and when I turned around I discovered the counter where books and maps of the map were on sale. Just when I had reached the mosaic which lays on the floor of the church, two large tourist groups entered and I had to wait for a peaceful view of the very interesting map. It depictes Palestine, and it is easy enough to discern the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho and many other holy and old cities.

Picture of Madaba Mosaic churches (Jordan): Jerusalem and Damascus Gate mosaic, Madaba

It was a little more difficult to find the Apostles Church, which is less frequented, or so it seems. The church itself does not exist anymore, but an attractive housing has been built around the mosaics which have been restored in cooperation with the Italians. Mosaics depict animals and people, trees and fruits like in most other mosaics. The silence here, and the additional explanations by the guard, left me a stronger impression than St. George's church.

Picture of Madaba Mosaic churches (Jordan): Jericho mosaic, St. George's church, Madaba
Picture of Madaba Mosaic churches (Jordan): Floor mosaic with map of Middle East, Madaba
Picture of Madaba Mosaic churches (Jordan): Fish mosaic, Madaba
Picture of Madaba Mosaic churches (Jordan): Detail of floor mosaic, Madaba
Picture of Madaba Mosaic churches (Jordan): Animal mosaic, Madaba

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