Madaba is one of the brightest and most memorable cities in the Holy Land, which is often called the “city of mosaics.” It is here that stunning Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics are located, the most popular of which is a map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the 4th century. Over two million colored fragments of local stone depict hills and valleys as far as the Nile Delta.
Madaba is located just 30 km from Amman along the picturesque “Royal Road”, which is more than 5000 years old. Check jibin123 for customs regulations and visa requirements of Jordan.
How to get to Madaba
Madaba is a 45 minute drive from Amman on the way to the airport and further south. Alpha Daily Tours (tel. (06) 585-51-96) organizes full-day tours that include entrance fees and an English-speaking guide. Departure from the Alpha terminal on the Seventh Ring in Amman at 14:00. Shuttle buses also run from Al Abdali Station. There is no timetable: minibuses leave when they pick up passengers.
Entertainment and attractions of Madaba
A famous mosaic map covers the floor in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George. The dimensions of the mosaic slab were originally 15.6 x 6 m, but only a quarter of all this splendor survived. Other mosaic masterpieces can be seen in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles, as well as in the Archaeological Museum. There are literally hundreds of various mosaics of the 5th-6th centuries. scattered throughout other Madaba temples and houses.
An hour’s drive along the picturesque “Royal Road” from Madaba is Mukavir – the fortress of Herod the Great. After the death of Herod, the fortress was inherited by his son Antipas. It was here that he gave the order to behead John the Baptist at the request of Salome – as a reward for her dance. Not far from here is Mount Nebo – one of the most revered shrines of Jordan, the burial place of Moses.
Pella (Tabakit-Fahl) or, as it is often called here, “the favorite of archaeologists” is incredibly rich in antiquities. In addition to the ruins of the Greco-Roman period, in particular the magnificent Odeon (theater), here you can find traces of an Eneolithic settlement dating back to the 4th millennium BC, the remains of fortified cities of the Bronze and Iron Ages, the ruins of Byzantine churches, as well as a residential area belonging to the early Islamic period.
How to get to Pella
It is more convenient to get to Pella from Amman with a connection in Irbid (journey time 1.5 hours). In addition, it is worth visiting the ruins of Jerash first, and then move further north. By car or taxi, you need to follow from the Sport City interchange to the northwest past Jordan University.
You can also go to Pella by bus companies JETT (tel.: 566-41-46), Hijazi (tel.: (06) 465-13-41, flights every 15 minutes), Trust International (tel.: (06) 581 -34-22, flight there at 8:30, back at 15:30), which follow to the city of Irbid. From where to get to Pella is not difficult.
Entertainment and attractions in Pella
Pella has many interesting archaeological sites, many of which are still being excavated. Of particular importance is the western church (4th century, three columns left from the colonnade of the courtyard), the city temple complex, the Odeon (1st century), the Roman fountain “Nymphaeum” and the eastern church (good views of the city).
The largest and most important Byzantine temple of Pella is the so-called urban temple complex. Apparently, it was used for Christian worship when Islam had long established itself in the region, but was abandoned after the earthquake. During the Mamluk era, a mosque was built in Pella: its ruins have survived to this day.