History, Art & Culture, Holy Jordan, Meaningful Travel

Tel Mar Elias: A Sacred Christian Site in Jordan

October 19, 2021

Jordan is filled with sacred Christian sites that embody immense religious and historical significance, and one of these special sites is Tel Mar Elias located north of the kingdom.

Tel Mar Elias, commonly known as the home of the prophet Elijah, is a site that consists of incredible archeological ruins of two Byzantine churches that are situated on the top of a hill overlooking vast greenery and hilly landscapes. The churches’ floors include beautiful mosaics of floral and geometric patterns. The site also includes remains of historic tomb chambers and a baptistery that one can also explore and walk around.

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Additionally, Tel Mar Elias has long been identified with Tishbe, which is mentioned in the Bible as the home town or region of Elijah. The Bible states, “Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead” (1 Kings 17:1). The Jordanian Department of Antiquities has worked to uncover and excavate these ruins in order to ensure that the site remains well preserved. This biblical site provides a unique opportunity for visitors to wander, ponder, and reflect on these historic remains and stories that existed thousands of years ago.

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Located slightly outside of the town of Ajloun in Jordan’s northern region, Tel Mar Elias is about an hour drive from the capital Amman. With its fascinating biblical and historic association, the sacred site is certainly a place that visitors should add to their itinerary during a trip to Jordan.

By Leen Hajjar
Leen Hajjar

Leen Hajjar recently completed her master’s degree in Communication from Villanova University with a focus on media analysis, specifically mainstream media’s portrayal of Arabs and the Middle East. She previously worked as an editor for Villanova University’s alumni magazine and in the Department of Communication and Publications at King Abdullah II’s private boarding school, King’s Academy in Jordan. She completed her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Media Studies and Sociology. She was born and raised in Amman, Jordan which inspired her to work as a writer at Al Arabiya English, producing stories that shed light on the diverse and positive attributes of the Arab world, aiming to provide a more comprehensive representation of the region and its people.

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