The Jordanian city of Jerash is located to the north of the capital, Amman, with an estimated distance of 48 km. The city enjoys a strategic location in the heart of a green valley in which water flows, and it rises above sea level by about 600 m.
Jerash shares an internal border with Irbid governorate from the north, and from the west with Ajloun governorate, while its borders to the east are bordered by Mafraq governorate, as it is bordered by the capital, Balqa, and Zarqa governorates on the southern side, and its area extends to more than 402 km².
Population statistics indicate that the population of Jerash has exceeded 237,000 people, with a population density of about 379 inhabitants / km2, and Jerash hosts a number of camps among its residents; among them is Souf Camp, which has a population of about 9,500 people, and Jerash Camp.
Jerash is affected by the Mediterranean climate, where it ranges from cold to relatively mild in the winter, and its summer is hot, although it is considered one of the most temperate regions in Jordan, and it also witnesses annual snow, due to its surrounding high mountainous hills; As a bird gap.
As for its green nature, the region is considered one of the richest areas in Jordan for agriculture, as it is famous for cultivating olives, especially Roman olives from it, and due to its spread there are traditional and modern contemporary plants, as well as fruits and grains.
Geographically, Jerash is considered a mountainous region with forests interspersed with, especially in the western parts of it, so Deben and Sakib forests occupy a large area there, and Jordanians from various governorates flock to it to enjoy the picturesque nature that is characterized by it, and it is mentioned that these areas contain rare plants such as orchids and perennial trees And historical.
History of the city
The history of the establishment of Jerash dates back to the fourth century B.C. during the reign of Alexander the Great; it was at that time bearing the name (Gerasa), and with the advent of the Bani Kanaan its name was altered to become Gershaw, and it is historically indicated that the city of Jerash lived a golden age during the rule of the Roman state for it, until the city became A symbol whose mention is associated with Roman rule, and the best example of his presence in Jordan throughout history.
It should be noted that Jerash is one of the cities of the Decapolis or known as the Union of the Ten Cities, which was raised by the Roman leader Pompeii in the sixty-third year BC, and this came during the period of the rule of the Romans for the Levant, and what gained it great importance in this union is its geographical location When the caravan routes converged, thanks to it they became a thriving commercial center.
Jerash witnessed a number of ages, starting from the stage of construction in the Greek era, and moving to the Canaanite, then Roman rule in 350 AD, and with the advent of 635 AD the region lived under Islamic rule after it was conquered by the Islamic armies led by Sharhabil bin Hasna, may God be pleased with him, and finally during the reign of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The Jerash Festival is officially known as the Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts, and the city of Jerash opens its doors annually for visitors from all over the world to witness the festival that takes place in its northern and southern theaters, and its history dates back to 1983 at the initiative of Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein, and the festival attracts folk dance performances from around the world In addition to musical evenings and opera performances.
Jerash was chosen to be the Jordanian Culture City for the year 2015 AD, and this came within the initiative of the Ministry of Culture (the Jordanian Culture Cities Project) launched by the Ministry in 2007, and the city won the title, given the momentum it contains among its folds in the cultural infrastructure, where it is held Theaters and cultural events in it.
The importance of Jerash
Jerash occupies an important tourist place at the level of Jordan, where it comes second in the list of the best-loved places to visit after the rose city of Petra, and the city has a Greek-Roman character, in which civilizations that have risen over its lands are mixed, in addition to that it does not overlook the eastern and western sides. At the same time.
The architecture of the city of Jerash gives the visitor a true character about its religion and its language that it has lived through throughout history, and it also transmits it to the Greco-Roman world through the cultural integration of these two empires. Among the most important traces of Jerash:
- Southern Theater: It is a Roman theater whose construction dates back to the end of the first century AD, and its Roman amphitheater can accommodate more than five thousand spectators, and it is indicated that this theater was intended for duels and wrestling with predators. The southern theater is considered one of the most massive Roman theaters in Jerash, and it is characterized by a design that is in line with the sound system from its various angles, and still exists to this day, and is used to hold cultural and artistic events; the most important of which is the Jerash Festival.
- North theater: Its construction dates back to the year 165 AD, and it is possible to host between 1500-3000 spectators, and plays and concerts of the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts are held.
- The way of the nymphs: Also known as the Sabil Nemphium, its construction dates back to the nineties of the second century AD, and it is a place that embraces a number of water fountains that were built specifically for water nymphs. It also includes a luxurious two-story marble basin covered with decorations and decorations.
- South Gate: Known as the Philadelphia Gate, this gate was built during the period of wars waged by the Romans in the second century AD, and was destroyed by her father in 268 AD.
- Street of columns: It is considered the most famous among the ruins of the city of Jerash, and it is a long street that extends for more than 800 meters approximately in the heart of the ancient city.
- North Amphitheater: It is of great importance in the northern part of the ancient city, and its construction dates back to the year 165 AD.
- Artemis Temple: This temple was built in the second century AD to serve as a temple to the guardian gods of the city, and it is one of the most proud historical monuments in the region.
- Hippodrome: It is a stadium for horses and a circuit for displaying the Roman circus, and occupies a space in the heart of the archaeological area in Jerash, and takes the form of a U-shaped in English, as it consists of two walls and terraces rising above the basements of three directions.
- Seminar Square: It is a public place with an oval shape, occupying a space in the center of the Roman city, and it is considered as a market for the old city; and politicians congregate for political discussions.
- The cathedral: It has a huge gate made of stone, and it is covered with carved pictures. It is thus considered one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the region, and its construction dates back to the second century AD.
- Jerash two pools: It is considered a center for holding ancient Roman celebrations related to the coming of spring, and it is also a source for supplying the city with water, as water flows in the heart of the city walls.
- Al Hamidi Mosque: Its name was attributed to the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, and Circassians are credited with the construction in 1887 AD, and it is located in a unique position among the ancient Roman ruins.
- The Umayyad Mosque in Jerash: It is located at the meeting point of the main street Cardo with the sub-street Decamanos, and history indicates that it was built in the eighth century AD.
- The shrine of the Prophet Hood: The shrine of the Prophet of God Hood sits on top of a standing mountain peak in the eastern part of the ancient city of Jerash, and the maqam consists of a room extending to 16 m, and was built over an area of approximately 160 m, and on the eastern side of the maqam there is an ancient cave, dark and dark.