Top 4 Roman Ruins in Jordan: A Guide to Ancient History

If you’re planning a trip to Jordan, you won’t want to miss exploring the country’s ancient Roman ruins. Jordan was once part of the Roman Empire, and there are still many impressive ruins scattered throughout the country that offer a glimpse into its rich history. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 4 Roman ruins in Jordan that you should add to your itinerary.

Image via Travel + leisure on Pinterest

The first Roman ruin on our list is the ancient city of Jerash, located just north of the capital city of Amman. Jerash was once a thriving city in the Roman Empire and is now one of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world. You can spend hours wandering through the ancient streets, admiring the towering columns and intricate carvings on the temples and theatres.

Another must-see Roman ruin in Jordan is the city of Umm Qais, located in the northwestern part of the country. Umm Qais was once an important city in the Decapolis, a group of ten cities that were heavily influenced by Roman culture. Today, you can explore the ruins of the city’s theatre, temples, and baths, and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Jerash: The City of a Thousand Columns

If you’re looking for a Roman ruin site that’s both breathtaking and well-preserved, Jerash is the place to be. Known as the “City of a Thousand Columns,” Jerash is located in the north of Jordan and is one of the largest and most well-preserved Roman sites in the world.

As you walk through the ancient city, you’ll be amazed by the sheer number of columns that still stand tall after centuries of wear and tear. The columns are not just decorative, but also serve as structural support for the buildings that make up the city.

One of the most impressive structures in Jerash is the Oval Plaza, which is surrounded by a colonnade of 56 columns. The plaza was the center of public life in the city, and was used for everything from religious ceremonies to public speeches.

Another must-see attraction in Jerash is the Temple of Artemis, which was dedicated to the goddess of hunting and the wilderness. The temple is one of the largest and most impressive structures in the city, and is adorned with intricate carvings and decorations.

Overall, Jerash is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Roman history and architecture. With its impressive columns, stunning buildings, and rich history, it’s no wonder why it’s known as the “City of a Thousand Columns.”

Amman Citadel: A Historical Crossroad

Image via Getty on Pinterest

You can’t visit Jordan and not see the Amman Citadel. This historical site is located in the heart of Jordan’s capital city, Amman. The Citadel is a fascinating mix of ruins from various civilizations, including the Romans, Byzantines, and Umayyads.

As you explore the Citadel, you’ll see the ruins of the Temple of Hercules, which dates back to the Roman era. The Temple of Hercules is an impressive structure that still stands tall today, despite being over 2,000 years old.

Another highlight of the Citadel is the Umayyad Palace, which was built in the 8th century. The palace is a great example of Islamic architecture and features intricate mosaics and carvings.

As you wander through the Citadel, you’ll also come across the Byzantine Church, which was built in the 6th century. The church is a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture and features stunning frescoes.

The Amman Citadel is a must-see for anyone interested in history and architecture. It’s a fascinating mix of ruins from various civilizations and offers a glimpse into Jordan’s rich history.

Umm Qais: A Blend of Cultures

If you are looking for a Roman ruin in Jordan that offers more than just ancient history, Umm Qais is the place to visit. Located in the northern part of the country, Umm Qais was once a Greco-Roman city known as Gadara. However, it also has a rich history of Ottoman and Arab influence.

One of the most striking features of Umm Qais is its location. The city sits on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. This strategic location made it an important city throughout history, and it was inhabited by various cultures over the centuries.

When you visit Umm Qais, you can see the remains of the ancient city, including the Roman theater, the basilica, and the colonnaded street. The theater is particularly impressive, with its well-preserved seats and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

In addition to the Roman ruins, Umm Qais also has several Ottoman-era buildings, including a mosque and a mausoleum. These buildings are a testament to the city’s more recent history and offer a glimpse into the Ottoman period in Jordan.

Overall, Umm Qais is a unique Roman ruin in Jordan that offers visitors a blend of cultures and history. Whether you are interested in ancient Rome, Ottoman architecture, or just want to enjoy the stunning views, Umm Qais is definitely worth a visit.

Qasr Amra: A Desert Castle

If you’re looking for a unique and fascinating archaeological site in Jordan, Qasr Amra is definitely worth a visit. Located in the eastern desert of Jordan, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a well-preserved castle that dates back to the 8th century.

Qasr Amra is famous for its stunning frescoes that cover the walls and ceilings of the castle’s interior. These frescoes depict a variety of subjects, including hunting scenes, musicians, and even naked women. The frescoes are considered to be some of the finest examples of early Islamic art in the world.

The castle itself is relatively small, but it’s packed with interesting features. In addition to the frescoes, you’ll find a bathhouse, a mosque, and a courtyard with a fountain. The bathhouse is particularly impressive, with its intricate floor mosaics and well-preserved heating system.

One of the most interesting things about Qasr Amra is the fact that it was built in the middle of the desert. It’s believed that the castle was used as a hunting lodge and a place for the Umayyad rulers to escape the heat of the city. The location of the castle was also strategically important, as it allowed the rulers to keep an eye on the trade routes that passed through the desert.

Overall, Qasr Amra is a fascinating glimpse into Jordan’s rich history and culture. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for an interesting day trip, this desert castle is definitely worth a visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Image via José Nutz on Pinterest

What are the most significant Roman archaeological sites in Jordan?

Jordan is home to some of the most significant and well-preserved Roman archaeological sites in the world. The most notable ones include Jerash, Amman Citadel, Umm Qais, and Pella.

Which Roman city ruins can be visited in Jordan?

Apart from the four significant sites mentioned above, there are several other Roman city ruins that can be visited in Jordan. These include Gadara, Capitolias, and Gerasa.

How does Jerash compare to other Roman ruins globally?

Jerash is one of the largest and most well-preserved Roman cities in the world. It is often compared to Pompeii in Italy and Ephesus in Turkey. However, Jerash has its unique charm and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Roman history and architecture.

What can be expected when visiting the Roman ruins in Amman?

The Roman ruins in Amman, also known as the Amman Citadel, are located in the heart of the city. Visitors can expect to see the Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace, and the Byzantine Church. The site also offers stunning views of the city and is a great place to learn about the history of Jordan.

Aside from Petra, what other ancient ruins are must-sees in Jordan?

Apart from Petra, Jordan is home to several other ancient ruins that are worth visiting. These include the Roman city of Jerash, the Ajloun Castle, and the Crusader castle of Kerak.

What historical insights do the Roman ruins in Jordan provide about ancient civilisations?

The Roman ruins in Jordan provide valuable insights into the ancient civilizations that once inhabited the region. They offer a glimpse into the Roman way of life, their architecture, and their culture. Visitors can learn about the history of Jordan and the role it played in the Roman Empire.

Jordan latest travel updates: US, AU , CA , UK

Local Customs in Jordan: A Guide to Traditions and Etiquette
If you're planning a trip to Jordan, it's important to familiarise yourself …
Bethany Beyond the Jordan: Exploring the Biblical Site
Bethany beyond the Jordan is a significant historical and religious site located …