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Sightseeing in Madaba - what to see. Complete travel guide

Madaba is one of the most notable towns that the Holy Land of Jordan is proud of. Quite often, this town is called by its unofficial name – “the land of mosaics”. Having visited this settlement, tourists quickly understand that this name precisely describes Madaba. Fortunately, many precious Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics have survived here until modern times. The 4th-century map of Jerusalem with the image of the Holy Land is one of the most famous and widely recognized mosaic paintings in Madaba. Besides this masterpiece, more than two million colorful stones formed picturesque paintings that immortalize local hills and valleys.
First mentions of the ancient Jordanian settlement appeared yet during the Bronze Age. The Bible mentioned Madaba several times as a Moabite border city. During the reign of the Roman and Byzantine empires in the 2nd to 7th century, the Jordanian city was a part of the Provincia Arabia. The Roman Emperor Trajan established that province. By doing this, he was trying to replace the Nabataean Kingdom formed earlier. The first evidence of a Christian community in the region in the historical documents dates back to 551 AD. This community even had its own bishop.
After the formation of the Islamic Umayyad caliphate, Madaba became a part of the southern region of Jund Filastin. This district, in its turn, was a part of the province of Bilad al-Sham. Madaba was severely damaged during a devastating earthquake that happened in the area in 746. The consequences of this natural disaster were truly horrible – many people died under the ruins of their own houses and the city was nearly wiped off the face of the earth. Christians returned to this region and removed the ruins only in the 80s of the 19th century. A new Jordanian city appeared on the site of the former one. Arabian settlers were the first inhabitants of the new city. Nowadays, there are large groups of both Muslims and Christians in Madaba. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
The church built in honor of Saint George is one of the main attractions of the city. There was a Byzantine temple in this area before. The shrine was built in the 6th century. After the earthquake, the church, just like the rest of the city, turned into ruins. The building remained in this disastrous condition for more than a thousand years. Christian pilgrims managed to not only discover the long lost city and unearth its ruins but also identify the ancient shrine. Needless to say, they decided to rebuild the church. Despite the poor condition, the church still had its fabulous mosaic made of ancient masters.
The Church of Saint George celebrated its second birth in 1896. It required much work and effort to restore the architectural landmark. Nowadays, all visitors have an opportunity to take a look at the map of Palestine that has the border of the holy Jordanian land. The map is fully made from mosaic pieces. The city is proud of this heritage because the Madaba Map is the oldest mosaic floor map ever found in the world. In order to create this grandiose artwork, which is fifteen meters long and six meters wide, the master needed two million stones. Unfortunately, only one-fourth of the original mosaic has survived until modern days.
There is an interesting museum not far from the Church of Saint George in Madaba. This museum opened in 1978. At a glance, the building, in which the cultural and historical establishment is open, looks unsightly and ordinary. That being said, the museum is really worth the attention. The collection is exhibited in a relatively small hall in a usual residential building. However, despite the modest size, the exhibition features many interesting items.
There are unique mosaic pictures with various plants, floral ornaments, various species of birds that are already extinct, interesting underwater creatures, representatives of the local fauna, and, without a doubt, mythical animals that are present in many legends and tales of the past.
Are you a fan of active recreation? You will find it exciting to participate in special entertaining tours. For guests of Madaba, these tours are a fantastic opportunity to see the main attractions of the city’s neighborhoods. The main part of the hiking tour lies in the Wadi Mujib river canyon. This is a picturesque place that has impressed generations of people with its beauty. It is important to mention that this hiking tour is not easy and is suitable for tourists who are used to walking long distances. During the tour, you will need to cross the river rapids. It is even possible to climb up using the alpinist equipment.
Madaba is situated forty-five minutes from the nearby city of Amman. The road, which connects these two settlements, heads to the local airport. As a rule, a bus to Madaba departs from Amman at 2 pm. As there is a tour guide together with passengers, the road will not be boring. If you plan to travel independently, you can choose a minibus to the Jordanian “city of mosaics”. These mini buses do not have a fixed schedule – they depart as soon as they are full.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Madaba and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Madaba
♥   Castle 'Kerak' , 60 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Qasr Kharana' , 63.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Rabadh Castle' , 67.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Qasr Amra' , 75.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Shmemis' , 109.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all parks
National and city parks around Madaba
♥   National Park 'Mezada (Harhava)' , 61.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Aqwa Bella' , 63.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Hare Yehuda' , 72.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Bet Guvrin' , 86 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Mazoleum Mazor' , 87.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Madaba and around
♥   Art museum 'Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts' Amman, 28.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Madaba from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Cave of Patriarchs

From the series “The Surviving Artifacts of Jewish Civilization”
In recent years, the main threat to the world-famous shrines are terrorists. Not only the historic building, but parishioners suffered from them. Despite this, the Cave of the Patriarchs each year is visited by thousands of pilgrims from around the world. The vault will be a boon for those interested in the ancient architecture. A spacious hall with a high ceiling and large windows represents the traditional painting and artistic mosaic. The design of the crypt is luxurious and very discreet at the same time. … Read further

Dead Sea

From the series “Amazing Land Areas Below the Sea Level”
The main secret of the Dead Sea and the surrounding landscapes is very simple - on the sea floor are the countless salt rocks. Due to the high level of water evaporation, the number of salinizations on the coast is always very high. In some places, they form the petrified structures of the strange forms which can not be seen in any other place in the world. Tourists visiting the west or east coast of the Dead Sea can not only look at the unique salinizations, but also the wonderful mountain landscapes. … Read further

Synagogue Hasidut Belz

From the series “The most luxury and famous synagogues”
The synagogue has many interesting features. It is the largest in Israel since its construction. The height of the synagogue ark is 12 meters. Up to 70 Torah scrolls can fit in it at a time. This unique indicator allowed the Hasidic Belz synagogue to become a record holder in the Guinness Book of records. The luxurious candelabra decorate the hall. They also deserve special attention. Each of them is made up of 200,000 crystal elements. The best Czech crystal was used for making chandeliers. … Read further

Sightseeing in Jordan: things to see

There are several interesting cities in Amman suburbs, and each of them has its own places of interest. The city of Salt is a fascinating place famous for its quality crafts, magnificent old buildings and museums. Skilled masters make clay vases, do detailed embroidery and make other pretty souvenirs right in front of amazed tourists. … Open
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in Madaba

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24.10.2021

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Sightseeing in regions nearby Madaba

All about Madaba, Jordan - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Madaba, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Madaba in few days.
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