Um Qais & Jerash

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Situated some 518 meters above sea level, Umm Qeis stands erect on a splendid overlooking hilltop magnificent views of hill-top the blue waters of Lake Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee), the Yarmouk River canyon and the Golan Heights. Historically known as Umm Qeis, ancient Roman Gedara was a prestigious cultural center and the home and birthplace of several classical poets and philosophers who were inspired by the beauty of the panoramic views embracing them. Excavations and restorations are ongoing in the area. Already discovered are the ruins of three theaters, a temple, and an impressive colonnaded street. Two recently restored buildings contain an archaeological museum and a rest- house from the terrace overlooking a magnificent view. Archaeologists predict that when the excavations are completed, a major city will be uncovered.

Only an hour’s drive north of Amman lies Jerash, the Roman Gerasa, widely regarded as one of the most beautifully preserved cities in the world. Nestled at the bottom of a green valley, Greco-Roman the city was forgotten for ten centuries.

To conjure up the past splendor of Jerash, one only needs to walk along the colonnaded streets and visit the imposing arches, the temples of Zeus and Artemis, the Oval Forum, the theaters and the Public Baths, testimony of a remarkable, unbroken chain of human occupation. Jordan today has brought the city alive again with an annual festival of the arts held in July of every year. The Jerash Festival, an exciting celebration of Jordanian and international culture and the arts, brings together artists from around the world to perform on the very stages Greco- Romans had celebrated on thousands of years before