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The Roman city of Jerash

Located just 50km north of Amman, Jerash is said to be the largest and best preserved Roman city outside Italy. At the beginning of the 3rd century, it housed some 15,000 people. Visiting Jerash is a must for anyone studying the history of the Romans.

The preserved site, which is the old city centre, covers a large area and includes several long collonaded streets complete with pavements, an amphitheatre and a huge oval plaza.

At one point we could hear the tune Scotland the Brave played on bagpipes mingling with the ever-present call to prayer, a most bizarre experience. Later we found the source - retired members of the British-trained Royal Jordanian Army raising funds for their colleagues by performing in the amphitheatre (see below).A replica hippodrome stages frequent chariot races, though there was no show when we visited. In late July and early August the Jerash Festival sees the site teeming with performers and visitors.

Facilities for the visitor include an excellent and friendly restaurant with a fixed-price buffet, a bar, a visitors' centre and a mini-souq for buying souvenirs.

Collonaded street in Jerash, Jordan Plaza at Jerash, Jordan

Jordanian bagpipers at Jerash Part of the huge site at Jerash

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