Located north of Amman, the capital of Jordan, the historical site of Gerasa is the second main attraction of the country after Petra. However, depending on the time and the period in which you go there, you may be lucky enough to discover this almost empty place. There is nothing better to immerse yourself in another era and another culture. And in addition, it also allows you to take pretty pictures .
It was in the 1920s and 1930s that the first excavations took place on this site by members of the famous American university Yale. The monuments had been covered by sand for several centuries, which therefore allowed their preservation . After renovations, Gérasa is now one of the best preserved sites in the world. As you will have understood, this great ancient city is a must in Jordan.
A very busy story
This city was built during antiquity by members of the army of Alexander the Great . The latter would have named it city of Gérontes (Gérasa) thereafter. Later, the city experienced a darker period when it came under pressure from the Nabataeans and then from the Jews.
It then fell to the Romans in 63 BC. Then it was during the 2nd century that Gerasa reached its peak under the Emperor Hadrian. Its trade and its Mediterranean agriculture allowed the city to develop even more. It was also at this time that new buildings were built, such as the south gate or the triumphal arch, for example.
Christianity was an important turning point for the city from the 4th century and many churches and cathedrals were built. All the buildings were therefore not built at the same time and by the same civilizations. Besides, this is what makes the place even more unique and impressive today.
The decline of this ancient city was caused by the Persian and Arab invasions as well as numerous earthquakes . Between the 8th and 12th centuries , at the end of the Crusades, the city was gradually abandoned. It ended up being completely left in ruins.
A quiet but unforgettable visit
Today, the ancient city has become a place that impresses all people sensitive to history and architecture. While strolling in the old alleys of Gérasa, you will discover many very well preserved monuments. They are impressive both in number and in their condition and certain details.
To visit this site in Jordan, we advise you to leave quite early in the morning, which will allow you to avoid crossing groups of tourists. Above all, you will avoid the hot weather which can very quickly be felt in this region. In summer, it can be up to 40°C! Also, be aware that half a day is usually enough to visit Gerasa. If you wish to spend more than half a day on the site, some restaurants allow you to rest during a well-deserved break, to drink and enjoy a hearty local meal.