Top 10 wonders of Jordan
July 30, 2010
Discover the top 10 wonders of Jordan, both ancient and modern, that you should not miss for your next holiday or vacation to the Middle East.
For more on travelling to Jordan, go to: www.visitjordan.com.
Camel at Petra, Jordan. Photo by magnusfranklin on Flickr.com.
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Jordan’s prized possession, the magnificent Nabataean city of Petra, one of the world’s new seven wonders, and popularized by the movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". This rose-red city half as old as time, is known for its dramatic tombs and temple facades, including one that served as a church during Byzantine times. The city’s inhabitants, Nabataean Arabs, carved structures into the soft sandstone more than two millennia ago.
For more on visiting Jordan, go to: www.visitjordan.com.
Jerash, one of the most well preserved Greco-Roman Cities in the world, is a close second to Petra on the list of favorite destinations in Jordan. The ancient city of Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.
#3. Bethany beyond the Jordan
Bethany beyond the Jordan is where Jesus was baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist, in fulfillment of the Scriptures. In this simple wilderness, the heavens opened and the first recorded revelation of the Trinity occurred. Here, Jesus began his public ministry – and Christianity was born. Today, visitors from all over the world follow in the footsteps of the early Christians and come to be baptized in the same waters. The 25-acre Baptism Archaeological Park features a visitor centre and 17 designated locations, including Elijah’s Hill, where tradition says the prophet Elijah ascended to heaven long before John came to this wilderness to preach and baptize in the Spirit of Elijah.
#4. Mount Nebo
Mount Nebo is where Moses viewed the Promised Land and is said to be buried, is the location of a basilica church that has one of the most magnificent mosaic floors in the world. From the platform in front of the church, visitors have an inspiring, breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to the rooftops of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Madaba, “The City of Mosaics” – is where visitors can see some of the finest art of the early Christian centuries. The most famous are the remains of a Sixth Century mosaic map of the Holy Land, considered the oldest and most accurate surviving map of the region. Housed in the Orthodox Church of St. George, the “Madaba Map” has been a valuable source of historical information and place-names, which in many cases have combined with the results of archaeological excavations to determine the ancient names and locations of Biblical sites.
#6. Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity. Here, weather and winds have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and god-like”.
#7. Dead Sea
The Dead Sea, without doubt, is one of the world’s most exquisite places, home to the largest open-air spa at the lowest point on earth at over 1,312 ft. below sea level. Fed by the Jordan River, this land-locked sea boasts a dense, rich cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture, medicinal, and spas with some of its finest products.
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts – a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley.
Ajloun is the city where the Ajloun Castle (Qal’at Ar-Rabad) is located. It was built by one of Salaheddin’s generals in 1184 AD to control the iron mines of Ajloun and to deter the Franks from invading the city.
Kerak, is the location of the most impressive remains of Crusader forts and outposts. Kerak Castle, high atop a promontory, is a maze of stone-vaulted halls and endless passageways.