Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
London, England, United Kingdom
January 10, 2012
From journal A Week in Jordan: Part One
October 11, 2006
From journal Jordan in 5 Days
Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
July 3, 2006
From journal What to Do and What to See?
December 2, 2002
Try to get to Jerash early in the morning or late in the day. It will be less crowded, not as hot, and the light will be at its best.
The entrance to the ruins is a bit confusing; our guide book told us it was at the Visitor’s Center, but we soon found out they moved it way down past Hadrian’s Arch, a good 300 yards before the main gate. It is located in a cheesy little tourist trap featuring tons of "traditional" Jordanian goods. Breeze right through there and head to Hadrian’s Arch and the Hippodrome, where they used to hold chariot races. These are located outside the main gates of the town. The main entrance is through the South Gate, right past the Hippodrome. As soon as you enter the gate you will see Jerash’s trademark, the Oval Forum, a beautifully preserved forum with a marble floor and encircled by columns. What makes the Oval Forum unique is that unlike most Roman forums, it is oval, and not square. To the right of the forum you will see the Temple of Zeus high on the hill. The temple used to have a huge staircase leading to it, and you can see huge pieces of columns that have collapsed. You can climb up to the temple and get a great aerial view of the Forum.
As you exit the Forum you will enter the Colonnaded Street. I don’t care how many colonnaded streets you have seen before, you have not seen one like this. It is the best-preserved and most spectacular colonnaded street of any Roman city I have ever seen. Many of the columns that line the street are in great shape and as you walk you can get a feel for the time when this street was full of Roman citizens rushing back and forth, chariots, and shopkeepers peddling goods. The street is very long and flanked by some spectacular monuments such as the enormous Temple of Athena, the Nymphaeum, and a few churches built by the Byzantines.
The colonnaded street ends at the towering Tetrapylon, four arches which towered over one of the busier intersections of Jerash. From there you can go look at the restored North Theater, in which they still hold events for the annual Summer Jerash Festival. After the theater make your way back towards the entrance while climbing through some of the monuments you passed early. All in all it should take about 2-3 hours. A worthwhile visit.
From journal Crusing Jordan's Highways
June 7, 2002
The first, most obvious relic is the triumphal arch which towers above you. Immediately behind the arch is the hippodrome which once seated up to 15,000 spectators. Cross the gate and immediately to the left is the ruined Temple of Zeus. Most unusual is the oval-shaped forum which closely follows. Do not miss the two theatres, although if time is short visit the second theatre, which although is smaller, is the more spectacular of the two, and closer to the exit. Inside the second theatre, right at the middle is a spot which is covered by a fairly rounded stone block of a somewhat different colour. Stand directly on top of it and speak… your words will be magically magnified… so much for ancient technological wonders! All around the base of the theatre are also little gorges which appear like holes on the walls. Whisper into one of these holes and your friend listening into the hole on the opposite side of the wall will hear you.
Immediately after the forum is the roman colonnaded street which stretches for more than 600m, flanked on both sides by tall, imposing columns. The original stones still pave the street and clearly seen are the ruts which are the result of thousands of chariots plying the street over the years. Moving on, the incredible Temple of Artemis rests untouched by time and well-preserved as the most imposing building on the site. The site opens at 730am and closes at about 7pm. Admission is JD5, half that for students possessing the ISIC.
At the Roman bath fountain, I met a policeman with whom I chatted with for a bit, then he asked me if I had a painkiller for his headache. I did not, but offered instead some water which he politely declined. Later, he brought me all around the site, including the two theatres and a church at a secluded corner of the area. Most visitors give it a miss due to its awkward location, but the huge mosaic flooring is worth a visit. It’s gates are, however, locked in a bid to preserve the beauty of the flooring.
To get to Jerash, catch a service taxi or minibus from the Abdali bus station. It is possible to connect to Mafraq, Irbid and Ajlun from Jerash on minibuses. At about 7pm, all public transport stops, but a taxi ride back to Amman will set you back about JD7.
From journal Jordan - The Ultimate Overland Guide
June 4, 2002
A prominent city during the time of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, Jerash flourished from trade routes to Damascus. When Pompey later conquered Jerash, he established it as one of the ten Cities of the Decapolis, and rebuilt it in this distinctive Roman style. By the 13th century, both Muslim and Christian inhabitants had vacated the site. It was forgotten until 1806 when a German traveler rediscovered the ruins.
Entering under a triple triumphal arch, we passed a huge oval (hippodrome) on the left where over 15,000 spectators once watched polo and other sporting events take place. Near the visitor center, another arch at the South Gate marks the true entrance of walled Jerash.
To the left beyond the Temple of Zeus (now a jumbled mess of fallen capitals and columns) stands a Roman Theatre 32 tiers tall. Continuing down the cobblestone street through central Jerash, along the Colonnaded Cardo, was my favorite part of the ancient city.
We could easily image people actually traversing down this splendid street decorated with ornate Ionic pillars and Corinthian columns in ancient days as we walked over grooves worn into the original limestone paving from repeated chariot use. How cool.
We explored several structures directly off this street. A pink limestone fountain in the center of the Cathedral's atrium is where a feast was held to remember Jesus' miracle of turning water into wine. Farther on, a beautiful public water fountain is housed in the two story nymphaeum, constructed of marble and painted plaster, and decorated at one time in mosaics.
Next, we came to the most important building in Jerash, the Temple of Artemis. Flanked by huge Corinthian columns, a grand staircase leads to the temple high on a terrace in the center of the city. Additional flights of stairs climb to the courtyard which was encircled by a double row of 124 columns. Much of it was destroyed when the Byzantines extracted materials to construct churches, houses, and ceramic kilns.
In the remaining part of the complex, we walked through ruins of churches, Roman baths and another theatre. Our total visit took around an hour. Keep in mind that our ‘guide' stayed behind smoking with his buddies in the adjacent Government Rest House while we explored on our own. (Thank God for guidebooks.) Had we followed a true guide, our visit likely would've taken much longer. In fact, we had expected it to last 2-3 hours. Had we known, we could've seen additional sites that day instead of ending up at our hotel at 2 pm, after a "full day tour" of Amman, Jerash and Aljun.
Minibuses and service taxis travel back and forth between Amman and Jerash. Just make sure you leave Jerash by 5 pm, because transportation terminates at that hour daily.
From journal Honeymoon in northern Jordan