Jordan: Holy Land

Holy Land

Jordan has long been a destination not only for religious pilgrims, but also those interested in biblical and Middle Eastern history. The kingdom itself is so steeped in these histories that to come to Jordan and ignore them is impossible. The sites mentioned as having religious significance also happen to be quite beautiful, and at times inspiring, regardless of your own beliefs.

Amman’s Citadel

The Citadel is built in the modern day city of Amman, the Bilblical Rabath Ammon. The Citadel area offers visitors a chance to see the remains of a Byzantine church, Temple of Hercules and an Ummayid Palace. One will also find an amazing museum that houses portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls alongside other incredible archeological finds from the kingdom.

Madaba, Mt. Nebo, Bethany

Madaba is one of our favorite cities in Jordan. It is charming, quiet and has an interesting history. While in town, you will visit the church of St George which houses the oldest known map of the holy land. The map itself happens to be a 6th century Byzantine mosaic and was found while locals were building the church in 1894. The city itself is known for its mosaics, both ancient and modern, and a short walk through town will tell you why.

Mt Nebo is now considered one of the holiest pilgrimage sites on Earth. It is believed to be the very spot where the Prophet Moses viewed the Promised Land in the moments before his death. It is literally minutes from Madaba and on a clear day you can see the Dead Sea, Jericho and Jerusalem in the distance. There is also a small archeological museum and a beautiful representation of 6th century mosaics from the area on display within the complex.

Bethany is also referred to as the ‘Baptism Site’. It is believed, and some say archaeologically-proven, to be the baptism site of Jesus Christ. This is where John the Baptist is said to have done most of his work and the area has now become a Vatican-sanctified site that pilgrims visit each year.

Kerak / Shobak

Kerak Castle is a recommended stop for travelers interested in crusader history/castles while on the way to/from the Dead Sea. Here you will find a crusader castle from the 12th century, whose history is complex and stretches for hundreds of years after the crusades. Within its walls, one can find architecture of European, Byzantine and Islamic styles. Unfortunately, much of the castle is in ruin, but the stories of the crusades, and especially the legendary Salah el-Din, is most often what excites and keeps people coming here.

Also called Montreal, Shobak is another interesting example of a crusader castle. The castle itself is also in ruins, but far less visitors crowd its walls than the famed Karak. Its more remote location and romantic setting perched atop a hill lend to the unique atmosphere of this castle. The castle also contains two churches, as well as Kufic verses of the Koran on its walls. It is easily accessible on the way to/from Dana Reserve.

Holy Land

Jordan has long been a destination not only for religious pilgrims, but also those interested in biblical and Middle Eastern history. The kingdom itself is so steeped in these histories that to come to Jordan and ignore them is impossible. The sites mentioned as having religious significance also happen to be quite beautiful, and at times inspiring, regardless of your own beliefs.