We have selected the top three Roman sites in Jordan. Jordan once formed part of the Roman Empire and many towns were conquered and transformed into beautiful majestic cities. Today, visitors can explore a large number of Roman ruins across the country. From the iconic Hercules Temple in the city of Amman to the extensive range of amphitheaters and columns at Jerash, there are plenty of Roman sites to choose from. The Roman ruins in Jordan tend to be well preserved although some sites have suffered large amounts of damage.
The Romans, under the rule of Pompey, conquered Jordan and the neighboring countries of Syria and Palestine in around 63BCE. The Roman Empire conquered ten well-connected towns to form part of the Decapolis League. The Decapolis League was the name given to these ten towns which were transformed into prosperous cities. Within these cities, the Romans built a large number of temples, theatres, and palaces which they ruled for four centuries.
Top 3 Roman Ruins in Jordan
Once ruled by the Romans as part of the Decapolis League, today Jerash is a popular city that is internationally renowned for its preservation and restoration of prominent Roman structures. Here visitors can spend their days in awe of the plazas, temples, and fountains that were once at the epicenter of the Roman Empire. In the old town, visitors can easily navigate their way past each site.
A great starting point is Hadrian’s Arch which was built in 129 AD to greet Emperor Hadrian during his visit. From this point visitors will find the remains of the Hippodrome; a former sporting arena that now holds chariot races to recapture the imaginations of visitors. Another notable site is the 3,000 seat South Theatre which is still used today for productions and concerts. The Forum is a spellbinding oval structure made of 56 pillars and is an ideal location for budding photographers. For an insight into the huge excavation project that took place in the city, visit Jerash Archaeological Museum which is home to a vast amount of fascinating artifacts. Entrance to the sites and museum will cost 10JD (15USD).
Towering above the capital city of Amman on a hill is the Amman Citadel. The Roman Temple of Hercules is the most famous site within the Amman Citadel. The temple was built by the Romans and today only a few parts of the structure remains. Visitors flock to the citadel to see the glorious hand that is believed to be the hand of a large Roman statue of Hercules. The hand is all that remains of the statue and is a symbol of the Roman hero’s strength. Other remains of the temple include two complete pillars along with the ruins of four other pillars.
The two complete pillars are 30feet high and it is believed that the temple would have reached 13 meters in height. The inscription close to the temple dates back to around 160 CE. Entrance to the Amman Citadel is 2JD (2.82 USD) or free with the Jordan Pass. It is open from 8 am until 7 pm on Saturdays to Thursdays between April and September and until 4 pm between October and March. The Citadel is only open from 10 am until 4 pm on Fridays throughout the year. Visitors can walk up to the Citadel but should be aware that there are a lot of steps. Alternatively, a taxi ride up to the Citadel will cost around 1 JD (1.41 USD).
Pella was once a striking city and is home to a collection of ruins that date back over 6000 years. It was conquered by Pompey in 63 BC and became one of the cities that formed the Roman Decapolis League. It is likely to have been recognized by the Romans due to its prime location on the trade route. The site of Pella requires a lot of walking in order to grasp the sheer size of this ancient city. Amongst the Roman ruins are a theatre, Roman baths, and a fountain house. There is also an Islamic quarter with a mosque and courtyard.
Visitors can also explore the ruins of churches and houses from the Byzantine era. This jaw-dropping archaeological site is located just outside of the town of Taqabat Fahl. It is less than one hour away by car from the city of Irbid. The cost to enter Pella is 2 JD (3 USD).
All in all – Roman Ruins in Jordan
The Roman ruins of Jordan can be visited any time of year. As many of the Roman sites were built within the Decapolis League cities, they are all well connected to Jordan’s larger cities. The ruins can be explored on foot and are all included in the Jordan Pass.