Jerash Jordan – Attractions

jerash opening hours


  • Ticketing: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm.
  • Sites and Museums: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM.


  • Ticketing: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.
  • Sites and Museums: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm.

jerash entrance fee

When it comes to entering the Jerash Roman ruins you will have to pay an entrance fee of 10 JD (15 USD).
This includes your entrance to the archaeological museum.

Is Jerash worth visiting?

Famous as being one of the best preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East, Jerash is one of the top attractions in Jordan (alongside Petra) and is certainly a must-visit.

What is special about Jerash?

Jerash is considered one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy.
And is sometimes misleadingly referred to as the “Pompeii of the Middle East” or of Asia, referring to its size, extent of excavation and level of preservation.

Strolling around the city in awe passing amazing, 2,000 year-old structures and grand avenues. you will discover so many things to see and to understand how special Jerash is.

Jerash Jordan -Hadrians-Arch
Hadrian's Arch

Built to commemorate the visit of the Emperor Hadrian to Gerasa in 129 AD, this splendid triumphal arch was intended to become the main southern gate to the city but the expansion plans were never completed. One unusual feature of its construction is the wreaths of carved acanthus leaves above the bases of the pillars.


The massive arena, 245 m long and 52 m wide (only part of which has been restored) could seat 15000 spectators to watch athletic competitions, horse races, chariot races, and other sports. The exact date of its construction is unclear; between the mid-2nd and 3rd centuries AD.

The Cardo -Colonnaded Street

Still paved with the original stones – the ruts worn by chariot wheels still visible – the 800 m Cardo was the architectural spine and focal point of Gerasa. The colonnaded street was remodeled in the late 2nd century AD, probably after 170 AD. The Ionic columns were replaced by more elaborate Corinthian columns.


Halfway up the Cardo, the Colonnade becomes larger and taller, marking the entrance to the Macellum or market place, a building to the left of the colonnaded street. The inscription on the adjacent lion’s head fountain is dated 211 AD.

South Bridge

To the right, the south Decumanus runs east to a 73 m bridge which led to the town wall and residential quarter of Gerasa. Most of this is now buried under modern Jerash, with the exception of the East Baths, which can be seen across the modern road to the left of the mosque.


This ornamental fountain was constructed in 191 AD, and dedicated to the Nymphs. Such fountains were common in Roman cities, and provided a refreshing focal point for the city.

This fine example was originally embellished with marble facings on the lower level and painted plaster on the upper level, topped with a half-dome roof Water cascaded through 7 carved lions’ heads into small basins on the sidewalk .

Umayyad Houses

At the western end of the South Decumanus is an Early Islamic Umayyad housing quarter inhabited from 660 to 800 AD. The south bridge led to the residential quarter and to the eastern gate.

West Baths

The massive West Baths, on the right, covered an area of 50 x 70 m and now lie where they fell after the earthquake of January 749 AD. Typical of the 2nd century, the Baths were an imposing complex of hot and cold rooms and other facilities.


The procession to the Temple of Artemis originally started across the river in the part of Gerasa now covered by modern Jerash. Crossing the Cardo, worshippers approached the impressive entrance to the processional way leading up to the Temple of Artemis. Its massive columns and a carved portico were flanked by 2-storey shops.

North Tetrapylon

The second Tetrapylon, located where the North Decumanus or cross street intersects the Cardo, was built during Jerash’s redesign, probably as a monumental entrance to the North Theater. At a later date, it was dedicated to Julia Domna, the Syrian wife of Emperor Septimius Severus, and probably had a domed roof in the 2nd century AD, elaborate carved decoration, arches and 4 sides to allow traffic to pass through.

The North Theater

Just off the North Decumanus, the North Theater was built in 165 AD. In front is a colonnaded plaza where a staircase led up to the entrance. The theater originally had only 14 rows of seats, and was used as a performance stage as well as the city council chamber; the names of the tribes represented in the council are inscribed in Greek on some of the seats, along with those of several gods.

Church of Bishop Isaiah

Located on a terrace immediately to the west of the North Theater. It is a triapsidal building, measuring 27.25 (E-W) x18 (N-S) m externally. The floor of the nave, side aisles and chancel area, but excluding the apses, was completely covered with mosaics made, for the most part, of locally available stone (Clark 1986). The excavators uncovered fifteen inscriptions while working on the church.

Church of St. Genesius

The floor mosaic of this church dates back to its dedication in 611 AD, just 3 years before the Persian invasion. A rectangular room, also with a mosaic floor, is located along its southwest side.

Saints Peter and Paul Church

Saints Peter and Paul Church”] This church, is located on high ground. It is over 31 m long and was a triapsidal basilica.
A mosaic inscription in the middle of the nave gave the dedication and the name of Bishop Anastasius, the church’s founder. A series of floor mosaics covered the body of the nave and both aisles.
The church’s main entrance is in its west wall.

City Walls & South Gate

Approaching the city from the Visitor’s Center, you see the impressive city walls, built at the beginning of the 4th century, most probably by Emperor Diocletian, and repeatedly expanded afterwards. The present walls are Byzantine and had a total length of 3456 m.

The South Gate through which you enter Jerash, dates from 130 AD and has a characteristic carved acanthus-leaf decoration. The open area inside the gate was used as a marketplace, and a 2nd century olive press is visible behind a wooden screen.

Oval Plaza

The spacious plaza measures 90 x 80 m and is surrounded by a broad sidewalk and a colonnade of 1st century Ionic columns. There are 2 altars in the middle, and a fountain was added in the 7th century AD. This square structure now supports a central column, which was recently erected to carry the Jerash Festival flame.

South Tetrapylon

The intersection of the Cardo with the first cross street, the South Decumanus, was marked by 4 still visible pedestals, which supported columns and probably a pyramidal structure.

Umayyad Mosque

Excavations have revealed that this mosque was constructed by making use of building materials from the earlier Roman remains and architectural features of a Roman villa which once stood in its place. Not much remains of this mosque. There is some ground level pavement, bits of the first course of the columned inner courtyard, a niche still standing in situ around 1.5 m high, and some column drums which survived the earthquake in 749 AD.

The Cathedral

Further up the Cardo on the left is the monumental and richly carved gateway of the 2nd century Roman Temple of Dionysus. In the 4th century the temple was rebuilt as a Byzantine church, now called the Cathedral, although there is no evidence it was more important than any other church. At the top of the stairs, against an outer east wall of the Cathedral, is the Shrine of St. Mary, with a painted inscription to St. Mary and the archangels Michael and Gabriel.

Church of Saint Theodore

Lying above and behind the Cathedral, this large church was built in 496 AD. In between St. Theodore’s and the West Side of the Cathedral entrance is a small paved piazza with a fountain in the center; this Fountain Court was originally the Cathedral atrium. The course of the underground lead pipe which fed the fountain can be seen as a line of obliquely laid stones northeast of the fountain.

Temple Esplanade
Temple Esplanade

The monumental staircase, originally enclosed by high walls, leads up to a U-shaped terrace where an open-air altar was built, the foundations of which are still visible. A second staircase leads through a colonnade of 22 Corinthian columns and into the Temenos. This sacred precinct, 162 x 121 m, was defined by Corinthian columns on all 4 sides.

Propylaeum Church
Propylaeum Church

Opposite the Propylaeum, this Byzantine church was built in the 6th century on the site of a colonnaded courtyard which formed part of the processional way. The columns were used as part of the church.

North Colonnaded Street

Beyond the North Tetrapylon is a stretch of the Cardo that was never widened, and retains its simple Ionic columns.

The North Gate

At the end of the Cardo, the North Gate was built in 115 AD. Its odd wedge shape was probably necessary to align the gate on the inside with the Cardo, and on the outside with the Roman road, which led north to the Decapolis city of Pella.

Temple of Artemis

Artemis, daughter of Zeus and sister of Apollo, was the patron goddess of Gerasa. This Temple was a place of sacrifice dedicated to Artemis and built in 150. Although small, the temple’s Corinthian columns soar impressively from the hilltop site; 11 of the 12 front columns are still standing. The temple’s inner chamber was originally clad with marble slabs and housed a shrine which probably contained a statue of the goddess

Three Churches

At least 15 Byzantine churches have been found in Jerash, and more are thought to remain buried. Three of the finest are grouped together round a shared atrium. At the north, the Church of St. Cosmos and St. Damian, twin brother doctors who were martyred in the 4th century, has the most splendid floor mosaics to be seen in Jerash.

An inscription dates the mosaic to 553 AD, and the images include the churchwarden Theodore with his wife Georgia, praying with widespread arms. In the center, the church of St. John the Baptist dates from 531 AD.

Its mosaic floor, now damaged, included images of the four seasons, plants and animals, and the cities of Alexandria and Memphis in Egypt. The church of St. George, at the south, was built in 530 AD, and continued to be used after the earthquake of 749 AD. Its mosaics were therefore destroyed when the 8th century Christian iconoclastic movement banned the representation of humans and animals.

South Theater

Built during the reign of Emperor Domitian, between 90-92 AD, the South Theater seats more than 3000 spectators and serves today as the primary venue for the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts. The first level of the ornate stage, originally 2-stories has been reconstructed and is still used today. The remarkable acoustics allows a speaker at the center of the orchestra floor to be heard by the entire auditorium without raising his/her voice.

Temple of Zeus

Erected in 162 AD, this temple stands on ruins of earlier sacred sites. From the Oval Plaza, a staircase leads up to an esplanade (in front of the temple), which was a Temenos, or sacred precinct. Originally, a rock in the esplanade served as a high place, and was enclosed into a shrine (Naos) in 100-80 BC. This shrine was modified in 69-70 AD and in the 2nd century AD, probably under Emperor Hadrian. From there, another staircase led to the temple, which was originally surrounded by 15 m high Corinthian columns.

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