Whether you are interested in theology, are a person of faith, or just curious, Jordan has a spiritual history that reaches far into the past. With evidence of human activity dating from the Neolithic Period, Jordan’s monuments are known to be some of the world’s oldest and most significant.
“Bible and Jordan, my mind doesn’t make the connection instantly. The Romans, the Ottomans, the Nabataeans and the Bedouins — they seem to fit in easily as the images of their cities and their cultures float in and out of brochures and books. But it takes me a while to recreate the Jordan of the Old and New Testaments in my head.” – Lakshmi Sharath
Greek Orthodox Basilica of Saint George
The St. George’s Basilica of Madaba is a 19th century Byzantine church that was built on the ruins of a 6th century Greek Orthodox church. It’s home to ancient mosaics that helped archaeologists discover the route through much of the holy land.
Map of Madaba mosaic
Discovered in 1896, the Map of Madaba dates back to the 6th century and is made of around two million pieces of coloured stone. It depicts various important historical and religious sites in Palestine and the Nile Delta.
“Madaba was destroyed in an earthquake and the floor mosaic was discovered only a couple of centuries ago when the church was rebuilt. As more maps were unearthed in different churches across the city, Madaba earned its sobriquet, City of Mosaics.” – Sarath
Intricately detailed, these maps show mountains and rivers, hills and valleys, villages and towns along with captions in Greek that give you an insight into the landscape of the 6th century.These mosaics contain the earliest representations of Byzantine Jerusalem.
From the two million piece mosaic that maps 150 holy sites in Madaba, to Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land stretched out before him, and to the baptism site of Jesus Christ at Bethany beyond the Jordan, the most compelling aspect of visiting these historical monuments is as much their spiritual relevance as it is the realization that some of the world’s most important religious figures once walked these same parts.
Lakshmi Sharath’s passport stamp collection probably trumps yours. She’s a professional travel writer and blogger from Bangalore who gave up her career as a media professional to pursue her passion. Lakshmi shares her zeal for travel in India and abroad in her self-titled blog, many publications and on social media, for which she was featured in a World’s Top 100 travel tweeters. Lakshmi enjoyed immersing herself in the historical-cultural essence of Jordan, visiting biblical sites, ruins, and shopping for beautiful Jordanian souvenirs. Read her blog here and be sure to follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.