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a personal guide

_[The Basics] [Amman] [Jerash] [Mt Nebo] [Madaba] [Karak] [Petra] [Aqaba/Red Sea] [Wadi Rum] [Dead Sea] [Bethany]

Madaba

Madaba, a few km south of Amman, is a bustling town. The most famous feature of Madaba - and the reason we visited - is the ornate Orthodox Christian church, St George's, which is built on the site of a

much larger Byzantine church. In the floor is a mosaic map of the middle east dating to about the 6th century. The visible part of the map is about 6m by 2m, though the original covered some 16m by 6m. The mosaic used over two million tiny coloured stones.

The map takes a little getting used to as the top is East, not North as we are used to nowadays, but is in spectacular detail. On the map can be clearly seen the Dead Sea and Jerusalem which even shows a street plan. It is this that makes the Madaba map the best of its kind.

The church at Madaba can get rather crowded and you may have to wait your turn to view the map.


Madaba street scene
Madaba street scene
The Church of the Map, Madaba, Jordan
Entrance to St George's -"'the Church of the Map"

Baptism scene in St Georges Church in Madaba
John baptises Christ in the River Jordan
St George's Church, Madaba
The ornate church interior, but note that everyone is looking downwards at the mosaic!

Mosaic map of the Middle East in Madaba
Part of the mosaic map. The River Jordan and the Dead Sea are in the centre, with Jerusalem bottom right

Hotels in Jordan

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