Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jewels of Jordan: Umm Qays

The Roman amphitheatre

The Roman ruins

The Roman amphitheatre

The Roman ruins

Byzantine Church Terrace

More ruins

The borders of Jordan, Palestine, Israel and Syria can be sighted from this spot.

The Sea of Galilee and Tiberias, Israel, are visible, and just across the valley of the Yarmouk River is the southern end of the Golan Heights, claimed by and recognised as Syria, but under Israeli administration since the Six–Day War in 1967. The high mountains bordering Lebanon are visible in the distance on clear days.

Views from Umm Qays

The long cobbled street

Photos by SkyJuice © All rights reserved.

Umm Qays was my second destination in Jordan. It is the site of the ancient Graeco–Roman city of Gadara, a member of the Decapolis.

Site of the famous miracle of the Gadarene swine, Gadara was renowned in its time as a cultural centre. It was the home of several classical poets and philosophers, including Theodorus, founder of a rhetorical school in Rome. A poet called the city a new Athens.

Perched on a splendid hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, Gadara is today known as Umm Qays and boasts an impressive colonnaded streets, vaulted terrace and the ruins of two theatres.



Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Skyjuice:)

When I see the various marks left by the Romans, I am reminded of the famous words of Mark Antony in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar-FRIENDS,ROMANS AND COUNTRY MEN, LEND ME YOUR EARS.

This holiday of yours is really worth the money and trouble you took to visit these great places and I am sure you felt like a Roman queen yourself.
Jordan,Sea of Galilee, Syria, Israel,Palestine are all places of Biblical importance and it is a pity they have become sworn enemies and waging war against each other. I wish they lived in peace so that the world will have some peace also.

Once again I greatly appreciate your decision to visit these places which are in the news practically every day though not for reasons of historical importance.

The photos are excellent and speak for themselves and I thank you for showing me around.

Wish you all the best:)

SkyJuice said...

You're welcome, Joseph. It's a pleasure to share my experience with readers like you. :-)

There's another place of Biblical importance in Jordan which might interest you. Please wait for the next couple of posts.