Northern Jordan contains many magnificent historic locations including that of Gerasa, today’s Jerash, that is one of the most well-preserved metropolises of ancient Rome.
Jerash had its economic and cultural high season in the 1st century AD while under Roman rule. Situated on a small hill, the Temple Of Zeus was built in the years 162 and 163 AD.
The town developed quickly within the union of the Greek Decapolis, a federation of 10 important ancient cites in the Near East and profited from the agriculture of the surrounding area and from ore mining in the nearby Aljun Mountains. This financial success gave rise to the city’s large building projects, particularly in the second century AD.
A further remarkable feature of the architecture in Jerash is the wide and 800 metre long cardo maximus, once the city’s main street. It was originally flanked by columns, 500 of which have survived.
Directly south of the Temple of Artemis are the remains of the Sankt Theodor Church, that has the three aisled ground plan of a basilica and dates back to the 5th century.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Jerash was rediscovered by archaeologists. The 20th century brought with it new excavations that have since returned this amazing ancient city into the full light of day.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.