One of the largest surviving ruins of a Roman city, Jerash is understandably Jordan’s second most popular tourist attraction (after Petra). While there are more impressive remains elsewhere of individual elements like Roman theatres, temples and hippodromes, there are few places that have so many structures relatively intact in one place. Amazingly it isn’t a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is over restored and too close to the town for listing.

Hadrian’s Arch makes for an impressive entrance to the site.

Beyond which is the 15,000 capacity hippodrome, which is still used during an annual festival with racing.

The South Gate is one of the four original gates into the city.

The Forum is an unusual oval shape, to fit into the space available, surrounded by 56 Ionic columns.

Cardo Maximus is an impressive column filed street, once the main thoroughfare for the city of 15,000 people.

Off it is the nymphaeum, the main city fountain.

There is another impressive arch with a street of columns leading to the North Gate.

The town of Jerash surrounds the site, an interesting juxtaposition of the ancient and the new.

There are two theatres in Jerash, both heavily restored. The North one is larger I think, with atmospheric internal corridors.

There are also several temples, the largest being the Temple of Artemis.

The views close to here show the scale of the site, taking several hours at least to explore.

The South Theatre was also impressive, if filled with the surreal sound of a local playing the bagpipes…

To end with the remains of the Temple of Zeus.

Author: jontycrane

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