Looking at how the ruins of the ancient city of Jerash look like, you will never think that 200 years ago it was completely hidden under desert sands Remember the footage from the first part of the Mummy, when treasure hunters and archaeologists searched for the lost city of Hamunaptra, and suddenly at some point the sands opened up, tearing away magnificent temples and ruins full of stories and riddles before the affected people? Probably about the same thing saw the expedition members Ulrich Zeettsen in 1806, when they discovered in the sands of Jordan, a huge lost Roman city, which in our time is often compared to Pompeii. Back in 749, a devastating earthquake destroyed the prosperous city very much and buried it in the sands for more than 1000 years. Today, Jerash is one of the most popular attractions of Jordan and is second only to the famous Petra in terms of attendance. Jerash is considered one of the largest and best preserved cities of Greco-Roman architecture today. Named by the Greeks 'Antiosh on the Golden River' in the era of the Romans, the city adopted the name 'Gerasa' До сегодняшнего дня на удивление хорошо сохранились колоннированные улицы, купальни, театры, башни, храмы, площади и фонтаны, арка Адригена, ипподром, Храм Зевса, Храм Артемиды. Среди сохранившихся городских стен археологи обнаружили доказательства того, что в этом месте жили люди еще 2500 лет тому назад. The history of Jerash is a mix of Greco-Roman style with the ancient traditions of the Arab East. The peak of the development of the city can be called the third century AD, when it was elevated to the rank of a Roman colony. During this golden age, the population of Jerash was 20,000. Then the city was quite a large administrative, cultural and commercial center. And then there was a series of strong earthquakes that buried Jerash ... Despite the fact that a German scientist discovered the city in 1806, a full-fledged archaeological excavation of Jerash began only in 1925 and continues to the present. If you compare the plan of the Roman city with the real relief, you will find that only half of the city has been excavated and cleared. On the other side, the Circassians who fled from the Caucasus in 1878 managed to build a new, quite modern village. You can clearly trace the height difference of the soil, leaving in the direction of the street and the wall. Well and, of course, impressive neighborhood of ancient ruins and modern houses in which ordinary people live he millennial burial under the sands to some extent proved to be useful for the ancient city, because all the buildings preserved after the earthquakes turned out to be literally mothballed. Largely thanks to the sands, the temples, the amphitheater and entire neighborhoods are very well preserved. The first thing that any tourist who visits Jerash sees is the arch of Hadrian. It was built on the occasion of the visit of Emperor Hadrian to Jerash in 129 AD. The arch looked luxurious and was the southern gateway to the city. Right behind Adrian’s arch is the hippodrome. This rather large arena was 245 meters long and 52 meters wide and could accommodate 15,000 spectators. Chariots races and other competitions were held here. The exact date of the construction of the racetrack in Jerash has not been established, but presumably it was between the 2nd and 3rd centuries of our era. To the left, in front of the square with columns, is the Northern Theater, built in 165 AD. It is much smaller than the South. Initially, the North Theater of Jerash had 14 rows of seats for the audience and was used for presentations and meetings of the rulers of Jerash. In 235, the theater was reequipped and doubled to a total capacity of 1600 seats. Since the 5th century, the theater has ceased to be actively used, and many of its stones were taken for other buildings. One of the largest and most preserved buildings of the city is the Southern Theater. Passages to the arena are located directly below the spectator rows and are stone tunnels The southern theater is impressive. It was built in the years 90-92 AD during the reign of the emperor Domitian and accommodated more than 3,000 spectators. The unsurpassed acoustics of the Southern Theater allows you to hear from any viewer a speaker who stands in the middle of the stage and does not raise his voice without using any technical means! We checked, you know on what? I went up to the very top, everyone was silent, and the guide below ... tore a piece of paper. No kidding, I heard that sound. The Forum or Oval Square is the main city square of Jerash. Its size is impressive - 90 by 80 meters. No less impressive is the preserved Ionic colonnade of the 1st century AD. In ancient times, two altars were located in the middle, and in the 7th century AD on this place a fountain was built. Now a column has been erected in the center of Jerash Square. Jerash’s annual historical festivals light a fire on her From the south to the north from the oval forum there was a straight, like an arrow, the central street - Cardo Maximum. It was paved with white stone blocks, still preserved. Along with the stone, the trace of the ancient chariots that drove through the city in ancient times was preserved ... Colonnade Street was the main artery of Jerash, stretching for 800 meters, it played an important role in the life of the ancient Roman city. Jerash’s underground sewage system was laid along the entire length of the Cardo Maximus, into which the sewage was drained. By the way, in those years sewage was a unique technology that made Jerash a very modern city. Cardo Maximum on both sides is also lined with a paling of a wide variety of columns. Other streets depart from it at right angles and on it are the most important buildings of Jerash. Nympheum - the temple of nymphs and the public fountain, the temple of Artemis, who was considered the patroness of the city, or rather his propylene, western terms - are turned here by strict classical facades. In addition, at the intersection of the central and minor streets there were decorative ornaments - the southern and northern tetrapilons - elegant four-sided arches. The temple of Artemis was built in 150 on a hill and had 12 columns, which created the impression that the temple was floating in the air. 11 of these columns have survived to the present day. The inner hall was lined with marble and enclosed the altar, where it was possible there was a statue of the goddess.
One of the most vibrant cities for which the Holy Land of Jordan is famous is Madaba. Often you can hear the second name of this locality - 'the edge of the mosaics.' Among all the mosaic paintings, the map of Jerusalem with the image of the Holy Land of the fourth century is especially distinguished. In addition, more than two million colored pebbles created paintings depicting local hills and valleys. For the first time about the ancient Jordanian settlement mentioned in the Bronze Age. In the Bible, Madaba is mentioned more than once as a Moabite border town. During the period of existence of the empires of Rome and Byzantium, falling on the second - sedbmy centuries, the Jordanian city was part of the existing province of Arabia. It was created by the ruling Roman emperor Troyan. So he sought to replace the previously created Nabatean kingdom. For the first time about the Christian community established in the city, and having its own bishop, is mentioned in historical documents in the fifty-first year of the fifth century. The first place among the attractions of Madaba rightfully belongs to the church, erected in honor of St. George. Before its construction here was a Byzantine temple. The shrine was built in the sixth century. After the strongest earthquake of the eighth century, the church, like the whole city, turned into ruins. In such a poor state, she spent more than a thousand years. Christian pilgrims could not only find the ancient city and dig out of the ground, but also find the ancient archaeological shrine, which they decided to restore without fail. Despite large-scale destruction, the mosaic creations of the masters of antiquity survived. Starting from the VI. n e. Christian religious buildings were erected in the city, beautiful mosaics of which made up the glory of Madaba. The most famous of the panels found here is a mosaic map of the Holy Land (VI., Original size 25 by 5 m.), Depicting the territory from the Phoenician city of Tire (Lebanon) to the Nile Delta in Egypt (center - Jerusalem with the layout of that time). In our time, the map is in the active (!!) Orthodox Church of St. George (1884), built over the remnants of the Byzantine church.