The Jordanian city of Jerash is located about 48 km north of the capital Amman. The city enjoys a strategic location in the heart of a verdant valley through which the waters flow, and it is approximately 600 m above sea level.
Jerash shares internal borders with Irbid governorate from the north, and from the west with Ajloun governorate, while its borders from the east are bordered by Mafraq governorate, and it is bordered by the capital governorate, Balqa and Zarqa from the southern side, and its area extends to more than 402 km².
Population census statistics indicate that the population of Jerash has exceeded approximately 237,000 people, with a population density estimated at 379 people/km². Jerash includes a number of camps within its territory; Among them are Sof camp, which has a population of about 9,500 people, and Jerash camp.
Jerash is affected by the Mediterranean climate, ranging from cold to relatively mild in winter, and hot summer. Despite this, it is considered one of the more moderate climatic regions in Jordan, and it witnesses annual snow; Because it is surrounded by high mountainous heights; Like a sparrow hole.
With regard to its green nature, the region is considered one of the most agriculturally rich regions in Jordan, as it is famous for the cultivation of olives, especially Roman olives.
Geographically, Jerash is considered a mountainous area interspersed with forests, especially in the western parts of it. To enjoy the picturesque nature that is characterized by it, and it is mentioned that these areas contain rare plants; Orchids, perennial and historical trees.
The history of the establishment of Jerash dates back to the fourth century BC during the reign of Alexander the Great; And it was at that time bearing the name (Jerasa), and with the advent of the Canaanites, its name was distorted to become Jerash, and it is historically indicated that the city of Jerash lived a golden age during the period of the Roman state’s rule over it, until the city became a symbol associated with Roman rule, and the best example of its presence in Jordan throughout history .
It must be noted that Jerash is one of the cities of the Decapolis or known as the Union of the Ten Cities, which was established by the Roman leader Pompey in the sixty-third year BC, and this came during the period of the Roman rule of the Levant, and what gained it great importance in this union is its geographical location At the confluence of caravan routes, it became a prosperous commercial center.
Jerash lived through a number of eras, starting with the construction phase in the Greek era, moving to the Canaanite, then the Roman rule in 350 AD, and with the advent of the year 635 AD, the area lived under Islamic rule after the Islamic armies opened it under the leadership of Sharhabeel bin Hasna, may God be pleased with him, and finally during the reign of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The Jerash Festival is officially known as the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts. The city of Jerash opens its doors annually to visitors from all over the world to witness the festival, which is held in its northern and southern theaters. Its founding dates back to 1983 AD at the initiative of Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein. ; In addition to musical evenings and opera performances.
The city of Jerash was chosen to be the Jordanian City of Culture for the year 2015. This came within the initiative of the Ministry of Culture (the Jordanian Culture Cities Project), which was launched by the ministry in 2007. The city won the title; Due to the momentum it contains in the cultural infrastructure, where theaters and cultural events are held.
The importance of Jerash
The city of Jerash occupies an important tourist position in Jordan, where it comes in second place among the list of the best places to visit after the pink city of Petra. At the same time.
The architecture of Jerash gives the visitor a real character about its religion and language that it has witnessed throughout history, and also conveys it to the Greco-Roman world through the cultural fusion of these two empires. Among the most important monuments of Jerash:
- The Southern Theater: It is a Roman theater whose construction dates back to the end of the first century AD. Its Roman amphitheater can accommodate more than five thousand spectators. It is noteworthy that this theater was dedicated to conducting duels and wrestling with predators. The Southern Theater is one of the most massive Roman theaters in Jerash. It is characterized by a design that matches the sound system from its various angles. It is still standing until our time. It is used for cultural and artistic events. One of the most important is the Jerash Festival.
- The Northern Theatre: Its construction dates back to 165 AD, and it can host between 1500-3000 spectators, and plays and musical concerts emanating from the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts are held there.
- The Sabil of the Nymphs: It is also known as the Sabil of Nymphium. Its construction dates back to the nineties of the second century AD. It is a place that houses a number of water fountains that were built specifically for water nymphs. It also includes a luxurious two-storey marble basin covered with ornaments and decorations.
- South Gate: Known as the Philadelphia Gate, this gate was built during the wars waged by the Romans in the second century AD, and was completely destroyed in the year 268 AD.
- Street of columns: It is considered the most famous among the ruins of the city of Jerash. It is a long street that extends for more than 800 m in the heart of the ancient city.
- The North Amphitheater: It is of great importance in the northern part of the ancient city. Its construction dates back to 165 AD.
- Temple of Artemis: This temple was built in the second century AD to serve as a temple to the guardian deities of the city, and is one of the most proud historical monuments in the region.
- The Hippodrome: It is a stadium for horses and an arena for the Roman circus parade. It consists of two walls and terraces that rise above vaults in three directions.
- Nadwa Square: It is a public place of an oval shape, occupying a space in the center of the Roman city, and is considered as a market for the old city; It also gathers politicians to conduct political discussions.
- The cathedral: it has a huge portal made of stone, and it is covered with carved images; Thus, it is considered one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the region, and its construction dates back to the second century AD.
- Barakata Jerash: It is considered a center for the establishment of ancient Roman celebrations related to the coming of spring. It is also considered a source of water supply for the city. Where the water flows in the heart of the city walls.
- The Hamidi Mosque: Its name was attributed to the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II. The Circassians are credited with its construction in 1887 AD, and it is located in a unique location among the ancient Roman ruins.
- The Umayyad Mosque in Jerash: It is located at the meeting point of the main Cardo street and the Al-Dikmanos sub-street. The history indicates that it was built in the eighth century AD.
- The shrine of the Prophet Hood: The shrine of the Prophet of God, Hood, is located on a mountain peak in the eastern part of the ancient city of Jerash.
Information about the ruins of Jerash