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Take the opportunity to explore the north of Jordan with its unrivaled historical and architectural heritage.
Start the day with Ajloun Castle, built by Saladin’s nephew to protect Arab lands from the Crusaders.
Ajloun Castle overtopped the three main routes to the Jordan Valley and protected the trade routes between Jordan and Syria and was an important link in a chain of defensive structures designed to protect against the crusaders, who restlessly attempted to invade the castle and the neighboring village.
High walls of the fortress, where in ancient times the guards peered to see the approaching danger, open a beautiful view of the endless Jordan Valley, Dead Sea and the western bank of the Jordan River.
Nowadays only a few travelers, standing on the observation platforms of the castle, indulge in thoughts that take them back to the distant past.
From Ajlun we will go to one of the cities of the Decapolis, the city of Umm Qais & the biblical “Gadara”. The magnificent view from it to the north of the Jordan Valley gives us a wonderful feeling and enjoyment. From there you can observe Sea of Tiberias (Sea of Galilee), Yarmouk River, and the Golan Heights. This city was one of ten cities that were inhabited by Jews, and where Jesus treated the ill.
From ancient Gadara, once a cultural center and holiday destination of eastern Rome elite we will explore another city of the Decapolis – Jerash, where you will enjoy perfectly preserved buildings and even whole streets of different eras, majestic temples on the hills, magnificent amphitheaters, baths, fountains, as well as massive city walls with towers and gates, cobbled colonnaded streets and the spacious city squares.
Today Jerash is recognized as one of the best-preserved provincial Roman cities in the world and a splendid example of provincial Roman town planning, examples of which can be found throughout the Middle East.
In the morning after breakfast, we will pick you up from your hotel in Amman for an entertaining day trip to the northern outskirts of Jordan.
We arrive at a beautiful example of amazing Islamic architecture, proudly dominating the surrounding area.
Ajlun Castle was one of the forts located at strategic heights from the Euphrates to Cairo, which used to announce the imminent danger of attack by lighting torches on the watchtowers of these fortresses.
Even though the castle was built for defensive purposes, it never faced sieges and attacks.
The only battle experienced by the fortress took place during the first Crusade, but it was outside the castle walls, on the lake shore.
The fortress itself was partially destroyed by an earthquake that occurred here in the twelfth century, after which the castle was empty.
Today, Ajloon Castle is a popular tourist attraction with a perfectly preserved labyrinth of stairs, ancient galleries, halls, castle towers, castle walls from which a magnificent view of the picturesque Jordan Valley opens.
The second destination of our today’s tour шы ancient Gadara, mentioned in the Bible – Umm Qays, archaeological finds of which are 5 thousand years old.
It is known that in the III century BC Greeks and local inhabitants, Hellenized during the Seleucid rule, lived here. In 93 BC the city was conquered by the king of Judah, Alexander Yannai, and in 63 BC it was transferred by Pompey to the Decapolis – the union of 10 cities of Trans-Jordan, which was under the supreme authority of Rome.
Umm Qais is rightfully proud of its most interesting sights preserved here since ancient times, especially the magnificent colonnade and the ruins of two ancient theaters.
Traveling to Jerash is a walk through the ancient ruins of the Roman city, which are no less popular than the well-known Petra.
For a long time Jerash was buried under the sands, which, like the ashes of Pompeii, perfectly preserved the ancient city with its cobbled streets and colonnades, temples soaring on the hilltops, theaters, spacious squares, baths, and city gates to this day.
Streets with various buildings of Byzantine temples with mosaic floors and amphitheaters with excellent acoustics were discovered here during the excavations.
Once destroyed by an earthquake and buried under the sands, it has been completely restored and included in the UNESCO heritage list.