In my opinion, the best direction for a day trip from Amman is north, to see the beautiful ruins of Jerash. It takes less than an hour to get there and you can spend easily a few hours exploring. You can imagine yourself living back in the Roman days wandering through this ancient city that is surprisingly well preserved. And compared to Rome, there are way less tourists around.
For more places to visit in Jordan check out this post.
Jerash was one of my favourite places in Jordan, but it is really hard to put that experience into words. So I am just going to let the photos speak. I was lucky to have been there for a gorgeous sunset, but see for yourself!
Jerash was also part of the Decapolis and from the 1st century AD. Chr. very prosperous. This is reflected in the many magnificent buildings, of which surprisingly much can still be seen.
Despite several earthquakes, many columns still stand on the great oval and along the main street.
You really get a feel for the city it once was, as many of the ruins are in good condition and the modern city was built across the river. The Nymphaeum and the Temple of Artemis are my favourite buildings. But the theatres and triumphal arches are also very impressive.
You should plan at least 2-3 hours here, especially if you like taking photos. The best light is in the late afternoon. The entrance fee is 10 JD and included in the Jordan Pass.
Interesting fact: you can put the end of a spoon between the base and the column and see how the column moves constantly. In a way, this is a built-in earthquake safety feature and possibly the reason why so many of them are still standing.
For the first half hour, these were the only people I met.
I love how you can find all these little details everywhere, if you take the time to look.
The north theatre can seat around 1.500 people. They host a music festival every summer with local bands in the south theatre and international artists in the north one. Would be awesome to attend, don’t you think?
The road seems endless. In some places you could see the traces of wheels going down the road for years and years.
After the big earthquake, the new city was built on the other side of the river. This is probably the reason, why the site is still this big and basically untouched.
The Nymphaeum. There used to be statues of nymphs in all the little nooks and water running down the walls. The water ways were destroyed by the earthquake though.
Not quite sure what this hexagonal structure used to be. But the symmetry was stunning…
The temple of Artemis, one of the best-preserved structures in Jerash. Artemis was the goddess of hunting and protecting girls and women. There should be temples for her everywhere, right?
Not enough yet? Well, me neither, here are some more photos of the Roman ruins in Jerash
The great oval square really impressed me. I keep wondering what they used it for and what it would have been like to be there on a busy Saturday morning.
At the top of the stairs, you can find a cute little water fountain in the wall.
The view from the south theatre over the old and new city of Jerash is pretty awesome.
The city is also called “City of 1000 columns”, I didn’t count, but I don’t think they are far off.
I hope I could inspire you with these pictures to go and visit Jerash and its beautiful Roman ruins. If you need more inspiration for a trip to Jordan, check out my one-week itinerary, my Sightseeing guide to Jordan and my post on useful tips when travelling to Jordan.