Madaba Map

The Madaba Map provides valuable insights into the knowledge, artistic capabilities, and cultural interests of the Byzantine era. It is a remarkable artifact that continues to captivate historians, archaeologists, and tourists alike, shedding light on the historical and geographical context of the region during that time.


The Map of Madaba is a mosaic map located in the ancient town of Madaba, Jordan. It was created in the 6th century AD and depicts the Holy Land from Lebanon to Egypt, including Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. The map is considered a significant piece of cartographic history and is one of the oldest surviving maps of the region.

Religious References

The Map of Madaba contains numerous religious references and depictions. The most prominent feature is the depiction of Jerusalem, which includes the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, and other significant religious sites. Other religious references include the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and various cities and towns mentioned in the Bible.

Landscape Depictions

The Map of Madaba also includes depictions of the surrounding landscape, including mountains, rivers, and bodies of water. The map is notable for its attention to detail and accuracy, with many of the features depicted in a realistic and recognizable manner. The map also includes depictions of various animals, plants, and other natural features.

Top Jordan Trip - Madaba The Church of Saint George - Wonders Travel and Tourism

Madaba Map

The Madaba Map, also known as the Madaba Mosaic Map or simply the Madaba Mosaic, is an ancient mosaic map located in the town of Madaba in Jordan. It is one of the most important and well-preserved cartographic artifacts from the Byzantine era. The map is believed to have been created in the 6th century AD and was originally part of a larger mosaic floor in a Byzantine church known as the Church of Saint George.

Madaba Map - Wonders Travel and Tourism

Key features and information about the Madaba Map:

  1. Location and Context:
    The Map was discovered in 1884 during the construction of a new church in Madaba. It covers the floor of the apse in the Church of Saint George( to be known as Madaba map st georges church), which is part of a larger archaeological site. The church was likely constructed over the remains of a previous religious building.
  2. Materials and Technique:
    The map is made up of more than two million individual colored stone tiles, arranged to depict a detailed map of the Eastern Mediterranean region, including portions of Egypt, Palestine, and other surrounding areas. The map measures about 16 meters long and 5.5 meters wide.
  3. Geographical Depiction:
    The Madaba Map is an intricate mosaic that provides a unique view of the region during the Byzantine period. It includes cities, towns, villages, rivers, roads, and important biblical sites. The most prominent feature is a detailed representation of Jerusalem, with recognizable landmarks such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Cardo Maximus (a main street), and the Damascus Gate.
  4. Biblical and Historical Significance:
    The map is of significant historical and archaeological importance. It provides insights into the geographical knowledge, urban layout, and artistic style of the time. It also serves as an important source for understanding the geography of the Holy Land during the Byzantine era and the religious significance of various sites.
  5. Cartographic Features:
    While the Map is not to scale and has some inaccuracies, it is still remarkable for its level of detail and the number of labeled locations. The Madaba map features illustrations of various cities, landscapes, and even some architectural elements. These elements are accompanied by inscriptions in Greek that identify the names of the depicted places.
  6. Restoration and Preservation:
    Over the years, the Map has undergone several restoration efforts to protect it from damage caused by visitors and environmental factors. A protective covering now helps to preserve the mosaic, and visitors can view it while walking on a platform above the mosaic.
  7. Tourist Attraction:
    The Madaba Map has become a popular tourist attraction in Jordan and draws visitors interested in history, archaeology, and religious studies.
  8. Historical and Religious Sites:
    The map also includes various biblical sites such as the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and other locations related to the Old and New Testaments.

greek orthodox church

The city of Madaba, located in Jordan, has a rich history that includes a strong Christian heritage. Madaba is particularly famous for its ancient mosaic artworks, some of which date back to the Byzantine period. These mosaics often depict scenes from the Bible and other religious themes.

Within this context, the Church plays a significant role in Madaba’s religious and cultural landscape. The  Orthodox Church is one of the major branches of Orthodox Christianity, with a distinct liturgical and theological tradition. It is important to note that the term “Greek Church” doesn’t refer exclusively to churches located in Greece but rather to a broader religious tradition present in various countries.

In Madaba, there are likely several churches or congregations, each with its own history and significance. Some possible aspects of the Greek  Church in Madaba might include:

1. Worship and Liturgy:
Greek churches generally follow traditional liturgical practices, which include rich and symbolic rituals, chanting, and the use of icons and incense. Services are often conducted in the local language (Arabic in the case of Jordan), as well as in Greek.

2. Community:
The Orthodox Church in Madaba serves as a focal point for the local Christian community, providing a place for worship, fellowship, and communal activities. It might also offer services such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals.

3. Art and Architecture:
Given Madaba’s reputation as the “City of Mosaics,” the interior of churches in the area might be adorned with stunning mosaic artworks. Icons, religious paintings, and elaborate iconostases (icon screens) are also common features.

4. Pilgrimage:
Madaba is a destination for Christian pilgrims due to its historical and religious significance. The Greek Church might be associated with specific pilgrimage sites or landmarks in the city.

5. Cultural Heritage:
The Orthodox Church in Madaba, like many similar institutions, plays a role in preserving and promoting local cultural heritage, including traditions, music, and art.

It’s worth noting that the specifics of the Church in Madaba could vary, and there might be multiple churches and congregations within the city. To learn more about the particular history, significance, and activities of the Church in Madaba, you could consider reaching out us to orgnize a visit to Madaba for you .

Madaba Map

Biblical Sites and Landmarks

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Map is its detailed representation of over 150 biblical sites and landmarks. It includes cities like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, and Hebron, as well as important religious sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Jordan River.

madabas holy land map: Origin and Date

 The Madaba Map is believed to date back to the 6th century AD, specifically to the Byzantine era. It was created as a mosaic on the floor of a large public building, which is thought to have been a church or a cathedral. The mosaic measures about 16.9 by 6.6 meters and is made up of more than two million individual colored stone tiles.

Madaba Archaeological Park 16

is oldest holy land map in madaba ?

Yes, the oldest known map of the Holy Land is the Madaba Map, and it is indeed located in the city of Madaba, Jordan. The Map is a mosaic that was discovered on the floor of the Greek-Orthodox Church of St. George in Madaba. It dates back to the 6th century AD and is considered one of the most significant archaeological and cartographic discoveries from the Byzantine era.

The Madaba Map depicts a detailed representation of the region known as the Holy Land, which includes parts of modern-day Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Egypt. It provides insights into the geography, topography, and religious sites of the region during the time when Christianity was developing as a major religious force.

The map is not only an invaluable historical artifact but also a significant religious and cultural symbol. It showcases various biblical sites, cities, villages, and landmarks, offering a unique perspective on the Holy Land as it existed in the Byzantine period. The Map is an important piece of evidence for understanding the historical and religious context of the time and the way people perceived and interacted with the landscape.

Given its age and the insights it provides into the historical and religious geography of the region, the Map is indeed considered the oldest known map of the Holy Land, and it remains a popular attraction for visitors and scholars interested in history, archaeology, and cartography.

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