Visit Jerash – Roman Ruins
Although the site is amazing, Jerash has been denied UNESCO World Heritage status because reconstruction of portions of the site by the military in a manner that is not consistent with the originally ruins. For example, stones were reassembled in the North Theater without considering their original placement. In Greek and Roman times, the city was known as Gerasa. After a Byzantine period, the Muslims took over the city in 635 AD and renamed it Jerash.
The site is extensive and has a number of significant areas:
- Hadrian’s Gate – this is the entry point to the ruins. The gate commemorates Hadrian’s visit in 129 AD.
- Hippodrome – seating for 15,000 at this chariot arena on the left immediately after passing through Hadrian’s Gate.
- The South Gate – a second magnificent gate at the south end of the ruins, but north of Hadrian’s Gate.
- The Oval Plaza – an open area encircled by columns near the South Gate.
- The Temple of Artemis – lead inserted into the columns at the joints has helped the columns to survive earthquakes. Put your fingers at the joint to feel the sway or insert a small twig and watch it move.
- The Atrium of the Three Churches has the best preserved mosaics on the site.
- The Temple of Zeus – built on a hilltop in the Hellenistic period. Beside it is the South Theatre.
- The Colonnaded Street – lined with columns for half a mile.
- The Nymphaeum – an ornamental fountain constructed in 192 AD.
Jerash weather is hot in summer and very cool in winter. Elevation influences temperatures. Highs from December to February average about 55 F (15 C) and average lows then are about 40 F (4 C). The hottest months of the year are June through September. Expect averages highs then of 88 F (31 C) and average lows of about 65 F (18 C). There is no rainfall for most of the year, but slight amounts of precipitation occur from December to March. Light snowfall is possible in winter.
Get to Jerash
Amman is the gateway to get to Jerash. Take an organized day trip to the ruins or arrange for a taxi cab for the day.
Visit Jerash – Hotels
The best way to visit Jerash is to take an organized day tour or cab from Amman.
Visit Jerash – Background
People sometimes spell Jerash as Jarash. The ruins are found in and under the city of Jerash, which is located about an hour north of Amman. The ruins of Jerash are the second most popular tourist destination in Jordan, after Petra. An organized day trip tour is the best way to reach the site. The ruins are exposed on the west half of the river, but they are also still buried underneath the modern city on the east side of the river. Today the climate is too dry and the river level is too low to support the population that once lived here.
Jerash is about 25 miles from the Syrian border. TheJordanian military has successfully patrolled the Syrian border and the ruins are safe for tourist visits.