• Madaba

Madaba & Mount Nebo

The journey from Amman to Petra is quite long, but happily there are wonderful sites of interest along the way to turn the drive into a well worth experience.

En route from Amman to Petra (or vice versa), you will find Madaba. Dubbed “the city of mosaics”, Madaba offers many sites to explore. Among them the chief attraction – in the contemporary Greek Orthodox church of St. George – is a wonderfully vivid, 6th century Byzantine mosaic map showing Jerusalem and other holy sites. With two million pieces of coloured stone, and a full 25×25 meters in its original state – most of which can still be seen today – the map depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns, as far away as the Nile Delta. This masterpiece is unrivalled in Jordan, but there are literally dozens of other mosaics from the 5th through the 7th centuries scattered throughout Madaba’s churches and homes.

Also en route from the capital to Petra is Mount Nebo, the mountain from which Moses was allowed to see the Holy Land… but not allowed to enter it. Nowadays the mountain is a memorial site. Here you will find the “Church of Moses”, built by the first Christians and displaying a large number of beautiful mosaics. Ever since the first days of Christianity this mountain has been a holy place and a pilgrimage destination. Like Moses, you can have a great view over Jordan, the Dead Sea and Israel. When the weather is clear, you should even be able to see Jerusalem, which is about 60 kilometres away.

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