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The Best Historic and Religious Sites in Jordan

Jordan is an ancient land with enough historic sites to spend a lifetime exploring. If you don’t have that long, head straight for the sublime ruins of Petra, the rose-pink city tucked into a series of canyons—and one of the crown jewels of world heritage. Then, travel north of Amman to the ancient city of Jerash, one of the best-preserved Roman archaeological sites in the world. You’ll also want to see the mosaics of Madaba and nearby Mount Nebo, where Moses first saw the Promised Land, as well as the site where Jesus was baptized and its surrounding Crusader castles and desert palaces.
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Umm Qais, Jordan
Tucked into the hilly northwestern corner of Jordan, Umm Qais (or ancient Gadara) commands grand views of the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights from the edge of its plateau. It was here that Jesus is said to have performed the miracle of...
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قلعة عجلون، Ajloun, Jordan
It’s easy to assume that any castle in the Middle East was built by a Crusader, but the one at Ajloun is a notable exception. Constructed in 1184 by Izz ad-Din Usama bin Munqidh, general and nephew of the great Saladin, it commands a...
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As-Salt, Jordan
The charming town of As-Salt (also known as just Salt), with its cream-colored limestone buildings climbing up the hillside, is within day-tripping distance from Amman. Here, nearly all the architecture dates from the late Ottoman period, lending...
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For Christians, the Baptism Site of Jesus Christ at Bethany Beyond theJordan is one of the most significant places in the world. Located amid a prepossessing sweep of scrubby plains, next to the sensitive border between Israel and the Palestinian...
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Al-Quds St., Jordan
According to the Book of Deuteronomy, it was from Mount Nebo that Moses first saw the Promised Land. Today, the Moses Memorial Church sits next to a viewpoint offering a dramatic—and windy—opportunity to see for yourself what Moses...
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K. Talal St. 30, Madaba, Jordan
A short drive from Amman, the town of Madaba is home to one of Jordan’s largest Christian communities and several impressive churches. Of these, the Greek Orthodox St. George’s Church is the most interesting. The church wasn’t...
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Kerak, Jordan
Central Jordan is bisected by the King’s Highway, which runs south between the Dead Sea and the desert. The undoubted highlight of traveling this route is the massive Crusader castle of Karak, with its immense fortifications...
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Wadi Musa, Jordan
Petra flourished more than 2,000 years ago, trading with Rome as an equal before being abandoned after a series of earthquakes in the 4th and 6th centuries C.E. It wasn’t until the 19th century, when European explorers...