Cardo Maximus (Colonnaded Street), Jerash, Jordan

Now that we had Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea out of the way,  why not also see Rome while in Jordan? “Rome away from Rome” is how the locals describe Jerash, one of the largest and well-preserved ancient Roman ruins outside of Italy, rivaled only by Ephesus in Turkey.


Arch of Hadrian, Jerash, JordanLike any Roman town, Jaresh  could not be without a ceremonial structure of a Triumphal  Arch. This arch, the entrance to the ruin, was built in 129 AD  in honor  of Emperor Hadrian. 

Pompey the Great, a Roman General, built the Roman city in Jerash in 63 BC and made it a part of Roman Decapolis League, a group of ten cities located in the Middle East ruled by the Roman Empire.  In  2nd century BC, Jerash was  conquered by Alexander the Great, who built many of the structures we see today.

Hippodrome, Jerash, JordanThe Hippodrome where the chariot races took place. It seats accommodated 15,000 spectators. 

The ruins of Jerash laid hidden in the sand for several centuries and was not rediscovered until 1806. The excavation didn’t start until 1925 and still continues.


04_Cardo Maximus (Colonnaded Street), Jerash, Jordan Cardo Maximus (The Colonnaded Avenue) 

The excation revealed a formal and sophisticated Roman city with elegant colonnaded streets, spacious plaza, baths, fountains, grand theaters and impressive temples.


Cobbled street, Cardo Maximus (Colonnaded Street), Jerash, JordanThe original stone pavings still bear the marks of the chariot wheels. 

 Temple of Zeus, Jerash, JordanThe Temple of Zeus

In as recent as 2013, more discoveries have been uncovered in Jerash.  A gold workshop was discovered in the Temple of Zeus which gives light on how gold statues were made 2,000 years ago.


Nymphaeum, Jerash, JordanLocals hanging out in the ruins.

Jerash flourished by trading with the Nabateans, the tribe who built the city of Petra.  It went into decline in 3rd century AD when the overland caravans was replaced by sea route.  But what really finished its life as a great city was the series of earthquakes in year 747.


Nymphaeum, Jerash, JordanThe Nymphaeum , the public fountain, where the water came out of holes in the lower niches into a tank in front, from which it poured through the mouths of carved lions’ heads into a drain below.


The Great Gate of Artemis, Jerash, JordanLooking out from the Great Gate of the Temple of Artemis into the modern city of Jerash.


View of Jerash City from Jerash, JordanThe view of the modern city of Jerash from the ruins.


11_Temple of Artemis, Jerash, JordanThe Temple of Artemies, the patron goddes of the city. The temple stands on the highest point and dominated the whole city.

 Macelleum (Marker Place), Jerash, JordanMacelllum, the marketplace.


Macelleum (Marker Place), Jerash, JordanThe Bath with the South Theater in the background. 


The Church of St. John,, Jerash, JordanThe Church of St. John the Baptist


Ruins of Jerash, JordanWild flowers abound and softens the atmosphere of the ruins.  


\Colonnaded Street, Jerash, Jordan


Oval Plaza, Jerash, Jordan The Forum (Oval Plaza) and the scenic view of the valley.


South Theater, Jerash, JordanKeith standing at the center of the South Theater to test its superb acoustic.  Standing at this point, the speaker can be heard by the entire audience very clearly.


Jordanian Pipe Band, South Theater, Jerash, JordanA Jordanian Pipe Band playing in the South Theather. It is a legacy from the time of the British Army.


Jordanian Pipe Band, South Theater, Jerash, JordanThis was after one of the band members tricked me into dancing around the theater with him. 


\Children in South Theater, Jerash, JordanAdorable young visitors in the South Theater.


Jerash, JordanWe have visited many other Roman ruins and we say that Jerash is one of the finest of them all.  Don’t miss it when you visit Jordan.

Have you been to Jerash? Do you have a favorite Roman ruin?

Travel Notes:
  • Jerash is located 51 kms/31 mi from Amman.
  • A frequent bus service (1¼ hours ride) serves Jerash-Amman route.
  • A group or private tour can also be arranged from Amman.
  • The site is open daily from 8:00 to 16:00 until 19:00 during summer.
  • Entrance fee is JD8  or about US$11.
  • A gladiator and chariot racing performances are held in the Hippodrome twice a day  five days a week. For showtimes and tickets, visit
  • Bring hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and adequate water with you.


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About Marisol

Taking you on our journey one photo - and footstep - at a time.

72 responses to “Jerash: The Rome of Jordan

    • Hi Noel, you should definitely put Jordan in your list. It’s a beautiful country with lot of photographic opportunities. You and your camera will llove it there.
      Marisol@TravelingSolemates recently posted..Jerash: The Rome of JordanMy Profile

  1. We visited Jerash in 1998 – before digital cameras. Great site- have to look at my pictures again. Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Is that in Jordan?? I would never have thought it was. Yeah, it’s more like Rome. Enjoyed looking at your photos very much. Hopefully soon I can make it to Jordan and see Petra and Jerash. When is the best time to visit?
    Aleah | recently posted..Where to Eat in La UnionMy Profile

    • Hi Aleah, I really hope you can make it Jordan soon. I have no doubt you will love it. We went in late June/early July and the weather was wonderful. It’s comfortable during the day and sweater cool in morning and evenings. Jerash was actually the warmest place we visiited but it was humid like the Phils.

  3. This is just amazing! I can’t belive how well preserved all this Roman arhcitecture is. It’s breathtaking, I can nearly see people from that time walking in the streets!
    Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse recently posted..Chocolate Treats A La MagaliMy Profile

    • Hi Magali, it truly is amazing how well-preserved the structures are considering they were buried in the sands for many centuries.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Lisa, It is really beautiful and I’m pretty sure you and your little explorers will love it.

  4. I think I may have seen some photos of Jerash at some point, but I don’t remember many of these views. I’m ready to visit Rome or “Rome away from Rome” any time. The photo that really caught my attention was the Hippodrome — I can just imagine those chariot races. Pretty cool experience dancing around with the band guy, too!
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Emilia-Romagna Funghi FeastMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Cathy, I’m sure you and Mr. TWS will enjoy Jerash as well as other places in Jordan. It’s an amazing country. We also found the Hippodrome very fascinating. We almost feel the roaring of the crowds when we were standing in the middle of it.

  5. Thanks for taking me, vicariously, around Jerash :-) I love the 2nd and 3rd photos. There’s something about them that speak to me.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hello Ms. N, our pleasure. Thanks for the visit and I hope you enjoy it.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Stewart, thanks. This ruin indeed rivals Ephesus in Turkey.

  6. No, I have never had the opportunity to see any part of the incredible world you shared in this beautiful post, so I’m especially appreciative of your photos and commentary. I loved the wild flower “softening” shot, the impressive structures, the historical information, and the many thoughts this post inspired. To be on the front lines of such exploration must bring the archaeologists enormous satisfaction. I wish the acoustic engineers of today would take some lessons from these ancient sound systems. I’ve grown to dislike microphone distortion and the insane volumes inflicted on many of today’s concert-goers. Thanks for this!

    • Hi Carol, thank you for your very thoughtful comments. This place is indeed an archeologists’ paradise. I share your lament about the modern microphones. It’s true that there’s a lot we can learn from the genius of the past.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Thank you!

  7. What a beautiful and great photo series!
    Birgitta recently posted..Beach 2My Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Thank you, Bridgitta. Glad you enjoyed it.

  8. I’ve never been to Jerash, but it looks amazing. I’ve been to Ephesus, and you’re right that it’s very well preserved. It’s amazing just how vast the Roman Empire was and how much the Romans influenced so many different cultures, much like the British. Please feel free to link up for Wanderlust Wednesday via my latest post below.
    Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans recently posted..Cappadocia: Selime MonasteryMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Dana, I’ve been to Ephesus too and I found both of them equally amazing. I know it’s incredible how vast the influence of the Roman Empire was but what’s more incredible for me is how the remains of their cities have withstood time.

  9. Marcia

    Jordan is a lovely treasure of history and architecture. It’s almost incredible that they’re still excavating after all these years.
    Isn’t it amazing about the acoustics? Makes you wonder what they knew that we still haven’t grasped.
    Marcia recently posted..Foodie Tuesday: Blue DrawersMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Marcia, I think that it”s exciting that they believe that there are more things to be discovered. I know the acoustic thinkg makes me wonder why the modern geeks can’t figure it out.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Thanks Arianwen, it truly is an incredible place.

  10. Meghana

    Wow, beautiful architecture and of course very well captured… Have a nice day…

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Meghana, thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.

  11. oh! this is amazing! I don’t think I have heard of it before. I am going to definetly put Jordan on my travelling to-do map. I find it so amazing how these structures have stood the passage of time. What builders they were. We saw a Roman Bridge in the south of France – it is so amazing to be walking through history. Those bagpipes seem a little out of step with Jordan culture. Happy travels – I look forward to your next post. and thank you for stopping by my blog today.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Jill, definitely put Jordan on your travel map. It’s an incredibly beautiful country and you and your camera will love it there. The bag pips may seem out of place, but that’s how Jordan is, there’s a lot of surprises.

  12. Lady Fi

    Wow – a beautiful series of shots! Love the golden tones of sand and buildings.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Tjhanks Lady Fi. The colors are indeed beautiful.

  13. Jerash was one of highlights of my visit to Jordan last year. It is certainly one of the best Roman ruins outside of Italy and for me, better than Pompeii. It’s fascinating how you can easily imagine life there as you wander through the ruins. Loved your photos!
    jenny@atasteoftravel recently posted..Sunday Snapshot: The Croatian Town of CresMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Jenny, glad to hear that you enjoyed Jerash, too. Yes, it truly was fascinating to get a sense of how people in the city lived back then.

  14. Sophie

    Many years ago, I was visiting friends in Amman, and we went to see a classical concert at the amphitheatre in Jerash. Absolutely gorgeous. Wish I had as beautiful photos of the place as you do :)
    Sophie recently posted..World at a Glance: Kunta Kinteh IslandMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Sophie, It must be amazing to hear a classical concert in the theater. I would have loved to experience that myself.

  15. I love the photography in this post, Marisol! Some of the pictures are so perfectly composed, it almost feels like they were staged (which I know they were not). Jerash looks incredible and your photos capture the atmosphere perfectly!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..What We Ate: TainanMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Steph, glad you enjoyed the photos. Jerash is so beautiful and photogenic that its not hard to capture it well.

  16. I wasn’t expecting bagpipes. Your photography is extra superb in this post. I love the close-ups of the stones with the marks of chariots and the long shots that give me a sense of how immense this place is. Now, I really want to go here.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..The Early Days of American Roadtrips: Part 1My Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Yes, the bagpipes was one of the Jordanian surprises. We found Jordanians very open people and they adapt whatever please them and the bagpipe is one of them:) Glad you enjoyed the photos.

  17. Very impressive ruins – and wonderful photos! I don’t know much about Jordan and hadn’t heard of Jerash but reading your posts about Jordan have made it seem like a great destination. We visited the ruins of Ephesus a couple of years ago and they were incredible but difficult to truly appreciate in the mid-day August heat – looks like you visited Jerash at a more sensible time!
    Lisa Goodmurphy recently posted..An Instagram Tour of Niagara-on-the-LakeMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      HI Lisa, Jordan is indeed a great destination and we recommend it to anyone who loves to travel. Ephesus is incredible but sorry you didn’t enjoy it much due to heat. We found that the beautiful thing with Jordan is that it doesn’t get scorching hot – it can be hot but it’s dry heat sot its bearable at its hottest.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Nancie, I’ m so sorry you’re always having problems with this comment box. I’ve asked other people and they don’t seem to be having problems. I wish I can figure out.

  18. Freya

    I so want to visit Jordan, there are 4 things I definitely want to see Petra, Dead Sea, Wadi Rum and of course Jerash. After seeing your photos, I cannot wait to go … what a beautiful preserved architectural site.
    Freya recently posted..Travel with an Increased Green AwarenessMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Freya, you will love Jordan! Those four places you mentioned are definitely must-see destinations.

  19. I love the colonnaded avenue and thought that was my favourite aspect.
    Then I saw the oval – and those gorgeous kids. What a place. It would be amazing to see it. I love that you found some wildflowers :)
    budget jan recently posted..Happy Travels with a PartnerMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      HI Jan, I know everything in the site is incredible that it is hard to pick a favorite. It;s an amazing place to visit indeed. I’m sure you and BH will love it there.

  20. Another set of truly gorgeous photos, Marisol! What a spectacular place and I can’t get over how well preserved they are. Truly unexpected for Jordan, including the pipe band. And they’re still excavating… I really want to go to Jordan and test out its kid-friendly factor :)
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted..Our Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg AustriaMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Mary, thanks! Jordan is truly gorgeous and full of surprises. You know, I’d say it’s very kid friendly. It’s easy to get around, it’s clearn, safe and the people are just amazingly warm, charming and funny. People there love kids and I’m sure they will welcome you more that you’re traveling with kids.

  21. Ancient history used to be one of my all time favorite subjects when I was in high school.
    The Jerash ruins look incredible – how cute are those two kids!
    What is amazing is how the original stone pavings still have the marks of the chariot wheels, even after all of those years.
    They sure don’t make buildings like they used to.
    Lisa Wood recently posted..Illawarra Homeschooling Group Meet UpsMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Lisa, if your an ancient history buff then Jordan must be on your bucket list. It is just so rich with ancient and biblical history. I know, we’re also amazed with those pavings. Our modern engineers and architects sure have a lot to learn from them.

  22. Leigh

    I’ve never heard of Jerash but what a marvelous looking place to visit. Yur photos are superb – the sort that actually make me want to pack up and visit there right now. Your Jordan trip sounds like it was just full of one highlight after another.
    Leigh recently posted..Hiking in Kejimkujik National Park – The Seaside EditionMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Leigh, it truly is a wonderful place to visit. I’m sure you and John will enjoy a mild hike around the ruins. Our Jordan trip was really memorable. We really fell in love with the country and its people. We would go back in a heartbeat.

  23. A

    Gorgeous photos of Jerash. I really liked it there myself too. I think your photos are so much better than the ones I managed to get while I was there. Looks like you had a fun time there too.
    A recently posted..Chasing Trains in AmmanMy Profile

  24. Dennis

    Rome away from Rome indeed! Given the number of ancient Roman sites around the Mediterranean, it would have been hard for me as an armchair visitor to say this is in Jordan. Too bad about the earthquake – that would be the last thing we want to strike there again.
    Dennis recently posted..Ausable ChasmMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Dennis, I know it would throw off armchair travelers. I also hope that there will be no more natural devastation in the area and elsewhere.

  25. Bama

    Currently I’m planning a trip for the company outing next January. We went to Istanbul last January and I’ve been wondering where we should go next. A few places are in the shortlist. But reading this post of yours about Jerash makes me think if I should propose Jordan to the team. It’s a wonderful and magical place, I believe. And your pictures convince me once again to not miss Jordan.
    Bama recently posted..The Unforgiving RinjaniMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Bama, Jordan is a great choice indeed! I highly recommend it. There’s so many magical places, the people are wonderful, its safe, it’s easy to get around, and the weather is so pleasant even in June/July. I hope your company will pick it.

  26. Great photo series and story, Marisol! Jordan is on my To-Do-Go list for a while. Hope to get there soon. Rome away from Rome will be part of the itinerary for sure!
    memographer recently posted..Old Bangkok Made of GoldMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Alex, thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post. You and your camera will love Jordan for sure! I really hope from the bottom of my heart that you’ll get there soon. -Marisol

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