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  Um Qais 

Jordan’s Roman history could hardly hope to have a better display case than the spectacular valley sides of Umm Qais, whose green, flower-scattered meadows provide outstanding views across to the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights. The settlement of Gedarawas a Roman stronghold following their conquest of the region in 63BC, and much like Jerash flourished over the next two centuries – in this case as a focus of culture and poetry. In Biblical times, it was also the scene of Jesus’ miracle of the swine, when he cast demons from two local men. Noted for the use of black basalt, its cinder-coloured columns stand guard over a complex that also houses abandoned Ottoman era houses– many of which were constructed from the masonry original used in the North Theatre.

Key Attractions:

Basilica Terrace: The column-fringed rectangle is the remains of a Byzantine church and whose elevated position offers the perfect historical frame from the views of Galilee behind.

West theatre: The best-preserved of the two theatres, this black-basalt arena was built to seat 3,000 Gadarenes, and today offers views to the West, down to the Jordan Valley and the snaking road up the hillside.

The Rest House: To continue feasting on one of the best views in Jordan, a generous lunch on the terrace of the well-run and spotless Resthouse is the ideal option.



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