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Located in the North of Amman, 45 minute drive to the best preserved example of Roman civilization. Jerash, part of the Dacapolis (the ten big Roman cities of the East) has been called the Pompeii of the East for its unique state of preservation. The city features theaters, churches, temples (Zeus and Artemis), and colonnaded streets. Then proceed to the Saracen castle at Ajlun. This 12th Century castle was built buy Saladin in hi successful campaign to drive the Crusaders from Jordan in 1189 and is an outstanding example of Arab/Islamic military architecture.
2 Days Petra & Kings Way:
Departure via the Kings Highway to Petra. En route visit Madaba, Mt. Nebo and Kerak. The mosaic city of Madaba is where the oldest map of the Holy Land exists on the floor of Saint George's Cathedral. Madaba, features many famous mosaics that exist in public and private buildings. A short drive brings you to Mt. Nebo, the alleged burial site of Moses overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Here Franciscans have built a structure that protects a 4th and 6th Century Byzantine church.
Continue south, and en route visit the Crusader castle at Kerak. This 12th Century hill top fortress features galleries, towers, chapels and ramparts that recall the gallantry of the Crusaders. Then Petra, for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, a full day tour of Petra, once the ancient Nabatean capital, Each person is assigned a Bedouin guided horse for the journey into the lost cit. After passing some tombs which are located outside the city, the visitor passes through the SIQ, an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone. It is a winding, one-kilometer-long fissure between overhanging cliffs that seem to meet more than 300 feet overhead. Near the end of the passage, in towering brightness appears Petra's most impressive monument el Khazne - The treasure. This is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity, carved out of the solid rock from the side of the mountain, nearly 140 feet high and 90 feet wide. Beyond el Khazneh the visitor is surrounded on both sided by hundreds of Petra's carved and built structures, soaring temples, elaborate royal tombs, a carved Roman theater, large and small houses, burial chambers and much more. Lunch is optional at the Basin restaurant among the ruins. After the tour, transfer back to Hotel in Amman for overnight.
The Dead Sea
At the Northern end of the Great Rift Valley lies the Jordan Valley and the lowest point on the earth, at the Dead Sea, more than 400 meters below seal level. The valley is typically Mediterranean with mild winters and hot summers. Because of the low elevation, it is a natural greenhouse, rich in minerals and in water from the sloping wades (dry river valley) nearby. In ancient times the Jordan Valley was on of the most fertile places in the Middle East and some of the world's oldest civilizations sprang from this soil. Today a vast network of dams and canals irrigate the region. Signs of life are everywhere. The valley also has profound meaning for the religious traveler. The Dead Sea has a historical and spiritual legacy of its own. It is believed to be the site of the five biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zebouin and Zoar. Relax in the gently lapping waters - you cannot sink! Treat yourself to a soothing massage or try the well known healing powers of minerals from the sea's muddy floor.
Bethany beyond the Jordan, where Jesus was baptized.
The large loop in the Jordan River opposite Jericho has long been identified as the spot where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist. It is called al Maghtas in Arabic. Less that tow kilometers east of the rive is another important place associated with the lives of Jesus and John Baptist - the settlement of Bethany, where John lived and baptized. John 1"28 refers to it as "Bethany beyond the Jordan, where Jesus was baptized."
For more information and to sign up for the tours, please visit the Hospitality Desk in the Foyer, Conference Floor Level.
Copyright © 1999-2007
International Institute for Peace Through Tourism