Roman Streets and Sweet Treats
The Roman ruins at Jerash Jordan are some of the best preserved in the world. Jerash is within an easy 50-ish km drive of the capital Amman. The site makes for a fascinating day trip; covering a very large area it is possible to wander all over the city. It is definitely worth finding a guide who can point out all the features and explain the history and the architecture, especially as there aren’t many signs or information points, although beware as they may encourage you to buy stuff you don’t really want to buy from various vendors who can be found waiting for tourists.
The arch of Hadrian (who had already started construction of the wall in the north of England) was erected around 129-130 AD , when the Emperor visited Jerash.
The hippodrome was an enormous arena which was used for chariot races and gladiator fights. Sometimes chariot races are re-enacted in the space. Sadly, not when we visited.
The colonnaded forum, an area designed as a marketplace but used for social gatherings, including important political meetings, is stunning. Its oval shape is very unusual.
The nymphanium, a monument to the nymphs, was fed by an aqueduct.
It’s possible to walk down the roman street, also known as a cardo and as straight as Roman roads are reputed to be, again lined with columns. The road’s surface is original.
There’s an amphitheatre where you can stand on the stage and let your inner thespian out. Even if you don’t feel up to a full performance of your favourite speech, it’s worth standing on the stage and just speaking – the acoustic design of the theatre ensures that your voice can be heard with remarkable clarity, even normal speech levels.
And at the end of a day’s exploration of the Roman ruins in Jerash, you are likely to be peckish. We were. Amman has some really excellent restaurants so on our return to the capital we went to Habibah to eat kanafeh.