Jerash is one of the largest and well-preserved Greco-Roman cities outside Europe. The first people lived here in the Stone Age – it is assumed that Jerash has been inhabited since Neolithic times. So people live on these lands constantly for more than 6500 years. The heyday of the city occurred when the settlement was conquered by the Romans. Jerash was included into the Decapolis under the name of Gerasa (the Gerasa of Antiquity) and gained a lot of buildings, passed several stages of reconstruction. In the Bible, this area is mentioned as the land of Gilead, rich in olives, grapes and wheat. Today it is the second most popular tourist destination in Jordan after Petra.
The city was buried under tons of sand. Scientists began the excavations only 70 years ago. They have shown to the world a magnificent example of Roman town planning. Due to safety and wealth of Jerash it is also called Eastern Pompey. Jerash is a popular attraction that helps the lovers of history to explore the grandeur of Roman architecture. You can explore the well-preserved mosaics and sculptures, manner of laying the road slabs and historical monuments. All of them are carefully preserved, and the found everyday objects, art objects and sarcophaguses are exhibited in the local museums. There you can see all the archaeological epochs of this region – from the Neolithic Age to the the Mameluke time: ceramics, glass, metalwork, coins and precious stones, figurines and statues, stone and marble altars, mosaics.
Having arrived in Jerash you can enjoy the beauty of the huge oval square – Forum, surrounded by a fine colonnade, the unique acoustics of the ancient amphitheater, the system of wine fountains at the temple of Dionysus. Jerash is also often called the city a thousand columns. 18 churches, most of which have mosaic floors, have been preserved from the Byzantine era. Large parts of the city wall with four gates are also preserved. In general, the city is ready to serve as historic scenery for any film about ancient Rome.
For tourists, this town is notable for the fact that every year, in late July – early August, it conducts a unique festival where you can see performances of local and international groups and popular singers, ballet, theater and opera shows, craft fairs. At the background of the brightness of the ancient ruins it is truly a unique spectacle!
In addition, hippodrome of the city of Jerash, with the assistance of Jerash Heritazhe, organizes a special performance “Roman army art and the chariot races.” This is an exellent opportunity to see the restoration of historical events and entertainment of that era: 45 legionnaires showing army drill and military training; 10 gladiators fighting “to death” and several Roman chariots, competing in a classical seven lap race.