Roman Ruins and Arabic Castles

Umm Qays

Known as Gadara, an ancient Roman site, one of the 10 cities established by Rome to hold power in the middle east region.

The highlight was a massive paved street with a double colonnade, running east to west.  You can still see the ruts worn in the street by the chariot wheels.

If the day was clearer we could have seen the Jordan Valley, Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights.

Aljun Castle

The castle was built for Salah al Din by his nephew Izz ad Din Usama in 1184-1185AD.  It is located in a position that dominated North Jordan and protected the trade and commercial routes between South Jordan and Syria.

The Crusaders unsuccessfully spent decades trying to capture the castle.

The castle was destroyed and rebuilt and modified over the centuries.  It is now a labyrinth of rooms and corridors, one of the most exciting I have explored.

City of Jerash

The ancient city dates back 6,500 years, however the golden age was during Roman rule.

As much of the city was covered by sand when it was discovered, the ruins are in remarkable condition.  Hadrian’s Gate is massive.  The oval forum and the long colonnade are both spectacular.

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