Discover Jordan's Nature & Cultural Heritage


Second only to Petra in tourist appeal, the ancient city of Jarash is remarkable for its long chain of human occupation. Here at a well-watered site in the hills of Gilead, remains from Neolithic times have been found, as well as Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad and others. Jarash’s golden age, however, arrived with Roman rule. Today it is acknowledged as one of the best-preserved province cities of the Roman Empire. Jarash was a member of the Decapolis, a dynamic commercial league of ten Graeco-Roman cities.

When Emperor Hadrian visited Jarash in 129 AD, it was already thriving. To honor its guest, the city raised a Triumphal Arch, just one part of a massive building program. Today you can walk beneath the imposing south gate and then make your way up the ‘Street of Columns’ - the Roman Cardo - running 600 meters north from the Oval Plaza. As you step over the tracks of chariot wheels, still visible in the paving stones, imagine prosperous citizens window-shopping beneath a covered sidewalk.

Jarash was an open city of freestanding structures richly embellished with marble and granite. Its engineering was so advanced that large parts of the city still survive today. Much more has been painstakingly restored by archaeo-logical teams from around the world.