"A wonderful Roman town in Jordan" Top 5 Page for this destination Jarash by Cristian_Uluru

Jarash Travel Guide: 194 reviews and 693 photos

Jerash, or Gerasa as it was called during the Roman years, is a fantastic Roman town just 50 kilometres far from Amman.
I've never known nothing of this wonderful town before I visited Jordan. It is probably one of the best Roman towns outside Italy!!!
It is fantastic because everything is like it was 2000 years ago and you can imagine how the buildings were 2000 years ago.
The best monument of the town is the Oval Square, one of the best preserve outside Italy Fantastic is the Cardo Maximo where there are all the main buildings of the town, the Ninpheum, the Temple of Artemide and much more.
In August, in the South Theatre, there is the Jerash's festival.

You need almost half a day to see this wonderful town very well!!! The best season to visit it is in spring or in autumn when the weather is sunny and warm

Walking along the streets of Jerash is like to make a journey in the past.

Some of history...

The town was settled between the 6th and 7th centyry BC and it was a Neolithic settlement. Outside the walls to the north was a small Early Bronze Age village about 2500 B.C. The town was at one time cal]ed Antioch on the Chrysorrhoas, the latter, meaning "Golden River," being the somewhat grandiose name of the little stream which still separates the eastern from the western section. But the name "Antioch" is significant, and strongly suggests that it was one of the Seleucid Kings with the name Antiochus who was responsible for raising the little village to the status of great town, probably Antiochus IV in the early second century B.C. It could also have been accomplished by Ptolemy II (285 - 246 B. C.) when he changed Amman into the Hellenistic city of Philadelphia. At the end of the second or early first century B.C. we have the first historical reference to Jerash. In the year 63 B.C., Pompey, having overrun the Near East, divided it up into provinces, and Jerash and its lands were attached to the province of Syria. This was the great turning-point in the history of the town, and was recognised as such in its calendar to the very end of its life as an outpost of Western civilisation, for all its dates are given in the Pompeian era. From now until the middle of the first century A.D, Jerash seems to have had a quiet and peaceful time. It had a flourishing trade with the Nabataeans at this period, and many coins of King Aretas IV have been found. For somewhere in the middle of the first century A.D. we find the city launching out on a complete rebuilding programme. A comprehensive town plan was drawn up, the basis of which was the Street of Columns and the two streets crossing it at the North and South Tetrapylons. No substantial changes in this plan were made to the end of its days. With Emperor Tiberius Gerasa have been attaining a degree of wealth such as had not been seen before and has certainly not been repeated since. This antlike activity continued and even increased in the second century, when the Emperor Trajan extended the frontiers. annexed the Nabataean kingdom (A.D. 106), and built a fine series of roads. Two huge thermae, or baths, were built, without which no decentminded Roman citizen could contemplate existence for a moment. The Emperor Hadrian paid a personal visit to the city, staying there for part of the winter of 129- 30. His coming was the signal for a fresh outburst of building activity, and the Triumphal Arch was erected to celebrate his visit. This century saw the golden age of Jerash, when most of the great buildings one admires to- day were erected. Still others give the names of several provincial governors, procurators, and other officials, and mention the presence of soldiers of the III Cyrenaica and a tribune of the X Gemina legions. The peak was reached and passed early in the third century A.D., when Jerash was promoted to the rank of colony, and the grade is steadily downhill after that, with an occasional level stretch or even a little rise; but the best was over. But it was a gradual descent closely connected with the fortunes of the Roman Empire, and for Jerash there were no precipices on the road. Under Diocletian the Sassanians were defeated and there was a short level stretch during which some building, such as the circular plaza and the shops around the South Tetrapylon, was carried out. By the middle of the fourth century there was a large Christian community in Jerash.

Under Justinian, 531- 565, there was a rise in prosperity, and no fewer than seven churches are known to have been erected in this period. All this external beauty and comfort was only achieved at the cost of the earlier buildings, particularly temples. An orgy of destruction of the pagan shrines must have gone on, and it seems as though scarcely one new stone was cut for the construction of any of the churches. The beautiful courtyard of the Artemis Temple was desecrated by the building of potters' kilns there. The last church of which- we know at present is that built by Bishop Genesius in 611, and the Persian invasion of 614 was the beginning of the end of Jerash. The only remains of this invasion are goal- posts erected in the Hippodrome just outside the South Gate for playing polo. The Muslim conquest in about 635 completed the decline of the city, which, though it continued to be occupied, gradually shrank to about a quarter of its original size. A series of bad earthquakes destroyed many of the churches and buildings, and as no one could afford to rebuild or even clear them, they were left exactly as they fell. So it happily remained until the settlement there of the Circassian colony by the Turks in 1878.

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  • In a nutshell:A wonder!!!!!
  • Last visit to Jarash: Mar 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (27)

Comments (6)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 14, 2010 at 5:42 AM

    Impressive ruins!

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    Excellent page about the place I dream to visit one day. Wonderful ancient city reminded me Ephesus so much! Thanks Cristian for the virtual tour!

  • iwys's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2007 at 1:11 PM

    Great page. I thought Jerash was wonderful too. I remember those chariot wheel ruts in the Cardo Maximus.

  • 1courage's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2007 at 1:52 PM

    Questo posto é invece bellissimo!! E si é preservato tutto in qualitá sorprendentemente buona. Sará per il clima arido. Ammazza, quante colonne!:)) Ottima pagina!

  • mario_spring_83's Profile Photo
    Jul 15, 2005 at 6:31 AM

    Ciao cristian,come tutte le tue pagine anche questa è dettagliata e ricca di informazioni e anche le foto sono molto belle!

  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2005 at 1:32 PM

    Excellent page Cristian, wonderful photos. Isnt Jerash an amazing place. (~_~)


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