Many religious and historic stories are believed to have occurred in present day Jordan and one of these places is Machaerus, also known as "Mukawir."
Machaerus is an archeological site and a fortified palace that is located on the top of a hill overlooking Jordan’s Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. The historic area of Machaerus is believed to be the place where the story of John the Baptist’s imprisonment and execution occurred. Machaerus also became one of Jordan’s main pilgrimage sites that were designated by the Vatican following Pope John Paul II visit to the kingdom in the year 2000.
Bible verse Matthew:14 discusses John the Baptist’s imprisonment as it states: “Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” The verse continues by stating: “The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison.”
Machaerus was first built by the Hasmonean King Alexander Jannaeus as a fortress. It was later developed and rebuilt by King Herod the Great in 30BC. While little remains of Machaerus today, it is still an extremely interesting place to visit. A large part of the ancient castle as well as a courtyard, mosaics, and a bath that were part of the palace are still present, providing visitors with an opportunity to walk around and explore.
(Mukawir Castle, Jordan)
About a two-hour drive from Jordan’s capital city of Amman, many visitors can easily plan a trip to Machaerus and explore the remains of a historically significant location.