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Umm Qais and Gadara

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Irbid, Jordan.

  • Photo of Umm Qais and Gadara
  • Photo of Umm Qais and Gadara
Photo of Umm Qais and Gadara
Photo by flickr user amerune
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The ruins of the glorious old Roman city of Gadara have been part covered by the less magnificent modern city of Umm Qais. Gadara was a fort city set on a hill and the ruins are still surrounded by the ancient walls, crumbled and part submerged in places. Segments of a temple and basilica, two amphitheatres, a bathhouse, a hippodrome and other important buildings have survived along with a section of paved road, complete with chariot wheel grooves. Most of these date from the city’s heyday in the 2nd Century when it was a centre for commerce, academia and creativity. It’s position on the coast was key to trade routes of the ancient world between Syria and Palestine. The land condition around Gadara was also mint, with plenty of rain and rich soil, which added to the cities wealth and hence the money to be spent on architecture.

The theatres are probably the most attractive from a visitors perspective, one is rather grand in black basalt with well preserved box seats which would have belonged to the wealthy.

Archaeologists say the city could have been around since as far back as the 7th Century BC.

Gadara is also on the short list of locations where the Bible miracle concerning Jesus casting out demons from a man and into a herd of pigs could have taken place. All there is to go on is the description in the Bible so there is some contention there.

Written by  Kynan Wieltz.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

This is one of the most spiritual places I have ever visited. It may have just been me, however, I have never felt closer to God than when I was here. I love this area and would love to one day live here.

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