The North of Jordan is home to many historic sites with biblical references and importance. From ancient Greco-Roman ruins to ancient cities mentioned in the holy Bible, Jordan’s northern region offers an array of wonderful places that visitors to the country can easily plan to visit and explore.
Here is a roundup of some of our top religious places to visit in the kingdom’s north.
The biblical town of Gadara known today as Umm Qais is steeped with historic and religious importance. Umm Qais is mentioned in the Bible as the location where Jesus performed the famous miracle of the Gadarene Swine. Many empires also passed through Umm Qais which filled the town with immense culture and history from across the globe, such as the Greeks, the Ptolemaic dynasty from Egypt, the Seleucids Empire from Macedonia, the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Ottomans. There are incredible architectural remains that trace back to these empires, including a colonnaded street, ruins of two theatres, and a museum displaying ceramics.
Jordan’s biblical city of Peniel, which is referred to as modern-day Pella is only an hour drive from Jordan’s capital city of Amman. It is believed to be the place where Jacob stopped during his journey from Mesopotamia to Canaan. Peniel is also renowned for its ancient ruins that date back to over 6,000 years, including Roman baths, an Islamic quarter with a mosque and courtyard, and ruins of churches and houses from the Byzantine era.
Jerash, formerly known as Gerasa, was one of the cities of the Decapolis League that is referenced in the holy Bible. Specifically, the New Testament gospels of Matthew and Mark discuss the location. Jerash is also home to some of the Middle East’s best-preserved Greco-Roman ruins and architecture. Within a large complex inside the city there is a fountain where Byzantine citizens once annually celebrated Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine. Till this day, Jerash consists of stunning colonnaded streets, temples, theaters, and monuments, encouraging visitors to immerse in immense history.