Jordan: A day trip to Jerash

By Cubie - February 23, 2020

Modern to the left, ancient to the right
Jerash is a city to the north of Amman. It is known for the ruins of the walled Greco-Roman settlement of Gerasa (Jerash), just outside the modern city.

Getting to Jerash from Amman
Firstly, flag down a taxi and get to the Tabarbour Bus Station (North Bus Station). I paid JOD 2.25 from the main street near the guesthouse. As usual, the bus driver went all the way till it is nearest to the bus going to Jerash, usually just right in front of the bus. I paid JOD 2 for the bus. On boarding, almost all passengers in the bus were tourists. It is obvious that this is a popular day trip from Amman.

Highlights of the Roman Ruins of Jerash
Entrance fee JOD 10, included in Jordan Pass.

The bus dropped off near the southerly gate of Hadrian's Arch or Arch of Triumph. The bus driver let us know where to take a bus back to Amman before he drove off. I got a little lost in looking for a return bus back to Amman and was sent to a wrong direction by a taxi driver. Anyway all was good after a kind local showed me where to find buses to go back to Amman.

Hadrian's Arch
After crossing a souvenir marketplace, you'll come face to face with the 13 meters tall Hadrian's Arch. This is the entrance to Jerash, built to honour Emperor Hadrian's visit to Gerasa.

Just beyond the arch is an ancient sports field, the Hippodrome which used to host athletics competitions and chariot races.

Forum / Oval Plaza
Further ahead is the oval-shaped Forum surrounded by 56 columns. The aerial view from Temple of Zeus was spectacular.

Temple of Zeus
This grand temple was built in the 162/163 AD, dedicated to Zeus Olympios and overlooks the Oval Plaza. This temple was completed and was larger than the one dedicated to Artemis, the patron goddess of Gerasa.

South Theatre
The South Theater is the largest and oldest of the 3 ancient theaters in Jerash. The other 2 being the North Theater and Birketein Theater. It is estimated that this theater could seat more than 3000 people.

A modest 2 (or maybe 3) person band was playing in front

Cardo Maximus
This colonnaded connects the forum to the North Gate was built in the 1st century AD. It is complete with manholes to underground drainage and lined with columns.

A main fountain of Jerash, dedicated to the water nymphs. At the foot of the fountain is a pink-granite basin.

This is the monumental gateway to the Temple of Artemis.

Temple of Artemis
This temple was built for Artemis, the goddess of hunting and fertility, the daughter of Zeus and Leto. When it was built, it was flanked by 12 Corinthian columns (11 still stand).

North Theatre
This much smaller North Theatre (compared to the south one) was said to be mostly used for government meetings rather than for artistic performances. There were five internal arched corridors leading to the upper rows.

North Gate
This arch marked the northern main entrance to the city and dedicated to the "founder of the city", Emperor Trajan. I didn't walk all the way till the arch though.

There were also other ruin sites on the walk back. I spent about 4 hours in Jerash and it was way passed noon so I decided to head back to Amman instead of detouring to Ajloun Castle.

My sense of direction is below average, but here's a photo to assist you if you are looking for a bus back to Amman. I took this photo from the bus I was in, while the bus driver held on to any hopes of getting more passengers before driving away.

One of the taxi drivers offered me JOD1 from Jerash back to Amman which I didn't take up his offer because it was too cheap to be true. I paid JOD1 for a bus ride back to Amman and unfortunately for me, the bus broke down midway. The bus driver promptly organised a minivan to come and pick us up so we were piled on a minivan in maybe about maximum 30 minutes and continued our journey back to Amman.

I shared a taxi to Citadel with Jo, a fellow visitor to Jerash who happened to be in the same bus back to Amman. We paid JOD3.50 for the taxi ride.

Side note: Tiramisu means "cheer me up"... is that true?

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