Photo by Felix Lipov/Shutterstock
JerashThe city of Jerash is one of the most intact and impressive ancient Roman sites in the world. It was already old by the time the Romans arrived, but it was a series of emperors, most notably Trajan and Hadrian, who really put it on the map. In fact, it’s under the monumental Hadrian’s Arch (erected to commemorate his visit in the year 129) that visitors enter the city today.
Jerash’s most iconic attraction is perhaps the Forum, an immense, oval-shaped public space lined with columns. Roads, not least the paved Cardo Maximus, lead out from there to the old hippodrome that hosted chariot races, the immense theater that can still seat a couple thousand people, and the mighty Temple of Artemis. There’s also a useful archaeological museum on-site, but one of the best ways to experience Jerash is simply to roam at your leisure. The site is so big that it’s easy to find a corner to yourself where you can sit and imagine what it must’ve been like here in the glory days.