Excursion to Mount Nebo, Madaba, Wadi Mujib and Kerak
3-5 April 2012
Amman city tour
Short tour of Amman at the ruins of the citadel before traveling south to Petra. The first stop is to Mount Nebo, a place of great religious importance, before continuing to Madaba and visiting the church of Saint George with its famous Byzantine mosaics. The journey continues through the spectacular Wadi Mujib, a long canyon in the desert, and then to Kerak with its Crusaders Castle.
The tour of Amman starts from Amman's most important archaeological site: the Citadel. From the top of the hill where the Amman citadel is located, a panorama of older Amman can be easily enjoyed.
Pictures of Amman citadel. The Amman Citadel is an archaeological site where you can see ruins from the Romans, the Byzantines and the Muslims. Featured in these pictures, the ruins of the Byzantine church surrounded by Corinthian columns dated back to seventh century AD.
Amman pictures. The climate of Amman is mostly dry with low rainfall and therefore, also in historical times, the collection of water was essential for the survival of populations. In these photos you observe tanks of various sizes, probably built by Romans.
Amman photos. The Umayyad palace is dated back to the seventh century A.D. and was built during the Arab domination.
The tour of Amman citadel continues where the houses, interconnected by narrow alleys, were located.
The Temple of Hercules, dated back to the Roman period around the second century AD, is unfortunately very damaged and only part of the basement with some column survives.
The trip to Amman Citadel ends at the small, but interesting museum on the citadel itself, where numerous archaeological finds from all over Jordan and the rest of the Middle East are collected.
A trip to Mount Nebo in Jordan lets to visit a place of great religious importance because, according to the Deuteronomy, Mount Nebo were the place where Moses saw what would be the " Promised Land ", destined by God to his People.
Photos of Mount Nebo. The tour to Mount Nebo offers a beautiful view to the Dead Sea depression and, on clear days, up to Jerusalem (right picture). On the left picture: the door-seal of the old Monastery.
Unfortunately I cannot visit the church and the memorial of Moses, as it was closed for major restoration work. Luckly, I can still see some beautiful mosaics.
The tour to Jordan continues with a trip to Madaba where the St. George church is located.
Madaba St. George Church pictures. This church is famous for its array of splendid mosaics, but his story is particularly fascinating because its most important treasure (a large mosaic on the floor) was discovered only by pure chance while building a new church over the ancient Byzanthine basement (picture below).
Photos of the Byzantine mosaic called " Madaba Map " discovered during the construction of the St George church. The mosaic's name was chosen because it represents a map showing how to get to Jerusalem from many different locations, through numerous greek captions that identify the main landmarks of the Middle East. The mosaic is dated back to around sixth century AD.
The journey in Jordan continues through the Wadi Mujib, a beautiful canyon in the desert.
Kerak castle photos. The next stop is at the Crusader castle of Kerak (Al Karak), a fortress dated to the twelfth century and built on the top of a mountain overlooking the entire valley.
Kerak Crusader Castle was built in strategic position with great views in the surrounding valleys to control the important road between Syria and the rest of the Middle East where, among other things, the Crusaders demanded the payment of a toll to the caravans in transit.
The castle of Kerak is built over various levels with claustrophobic rooms interconnected by dark tunnels.
Photos of Crusader Castle.
A niche with a narrow gap where the soldiers could safely attack the enemies.
Some rooms of the castle of Kerak, where you can see the kitchen and mess.