Jerash, Jordan

Jerash Travel Guide

This beautiful city is one of the most-visited cities in the Middle East and this is not by mistake. It is surrounded by crop filled fertile farmland and lush hills, and is undoubtedly the crown jewel of northern Jordan.

Best Visiting Time

While it is possible to enjoy Jerash at anytime in the year we recommend that you visit in Spring, between March and May. The city seems to be bloom with the fresh flowers of spring and the ruins are the most picturesque in the softly warm spring sun.


The city is generally believed to have been founded by Alexander The Great, however, some dissenting views are that it was founded by Seleucid King Antioch IV or even Ptolemy II of Egypt. The earliest signs of human habitation in Jerash may be found in the Tal Abu Sowan Neolithic site, which has unique human remains that date to about 7500 BC.
The city's origins have been traced to somewhere in the Neolithic era, between 7500 and 5500 BC. When one of Alexander the Great's generals overthrew the eastern part of the nation in the second century BC, it underwent a Hellenistic period. Jerash served as an important trading center on the trade route that connected Egypt with the
Red Sea, Philadelphia (modern day Amman) and Damascus, a trade route known as The King's Highway. In the 1st century BC, Jerash was eventually annexed by the Roman Empire and in that period Jerash experienced a flourishing economy. Infact, a lot of the ancient structures that are now popular tourist sites, were built at this time. However, In 749 AD, the massive Galilee earthquake destroyed much of the ancient city and it never came back to it's former glory. There were also some other earthquakes that followed and wreaked some more destruction. The ruins were later discovered in 1806 by German explorer, Ulrich Jasper Seetzen. Jerash is now one of the most visited places to visit in Jordan.

Sights To See At Jerash

1. Ajloun Castle
The history of the Ajloun Castle is fascinating. It was initially constructed in the to serve as a watch station and fortress against the Crusaders in 12th century. The castle served as a sort of post office as well, with carrier pigeons used to deliver and receive mail. This castle, in contrast to many other historic locations, is particularly well preserved and cared for.
2. South Theatre
The South Theater is an ancient Jerash landmark that dates as far back as 90-92 AD. It was designed to comfortably contain 3,000 people. Some parts of it have been destroyed with the passage of time but the theater has been partially restored and is still used for events today with regular mock gladiator tournaments.

3. Cardo Maximus
Cardo Maximus is the most important center of the Jaresh and takes you back to when it was fully a Roman city. The columns found in the Cardo Maximus tell of the prosperous times in Jaresh.

4. Arch of Hadrian

The arch is the entryway to Jaresh If you take the path from Amman. The arch measures an impressive 21 meters in height and is about 1900 years old. It was built then particularly for the visit of Hadrian. Renovations were made to the arch in the early 2000s.

5. Forum
The oval forum was used in ancient as a market and public square for the locals. It has an impressive layout for a structure that is 2000 years old. It has a total of 56 columns and you can get a stunning view of the forum from the Temple of Zeus.

6. Hippodrome
Most ancient Roman cities had a hippodrome and Jaresh is no exception. Jaresh has an impressive Hippodrome that was used for sports and chariot races. The hippodrome has been severely damaged, however, ruins of the seating stands and turning posts used in the chariot races are still visible. The Hippodrome also leads to many other attractions north of it and is often used as a shortcut.

7. The Archeological Parks
The archeological Park is very close to the capital city, Amman. If you're one for ancient history then this place is perfect for you. The entrance of the parks is in the south of jerash and is not so far from Hadrian's Arch. The park also has many antique shops and other shops that you can check out.

8. Al Ma'wa For Nature and Wildlife
This wildlife center goes beyond the concept of a regular zoo. It offers that and even more. There at Al Ma'wa they save the lives of their animals and tells you the stories of each and every animal there. The staff is very professional and well versed in wildlife, they also speak English if you're not an Arabic speaker.


This city is undoubtedly one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. And due to its size, depth of excavation, and state of preservation, it as been inaccurately termed the "Pompeii of the Middle East" or of Asia. The land area in and around Jerash is very fertile since an ancient reservoir provides it with
water all year-round. The city of Jerash has impressive views over the local low-lying areas from its 500 m (1640,42) elevation, and its climate is more temperate than that of Amman the capital city. The fertile lush hills and valleys of Jerash have been used for agriculture and habitation for more than 6500 years. The landscape of the ancient ruins is adorned with olive trees, plum trees, fig trees, wheat, eucalyptus, various shrub trees, and cedar trees.
The hills are very good for sustaining livestock and there are iron ore mining sites in the Ajloun.


The city of Jerash is in the northern part of Jordan and is about 48 kilometers north of Amman the capital city of Jordan.

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