Remarkable for its unusually wide size, the Plaza Oval is an elliptical plaza still in perfect condition. Its dimensions are spectacular (90 x 80 meters) and it is surrounded by a wide sidewalk with an Ionic colonnade built in the 1st century AD. In the center of the plaza there are two altars and a 17th century fountain where the Flame Festival of Jerash is held in July.
It is also known as Tabaqat Fahil. The first mention of it is found in ancient Egyptian inscriptions, some dating from the nineteenth century BC, and others from the X BC. Anyhow, it is really really old. Today you can visit the remains of a Chalcolithic settlement dating from 4000 BC, but one day this gave shelter to the early Christians who had to flee Jesuralen in the first century. It is a city with a lot to offer to its visitors. No wonder it was one of the cities that formed the Decapolis. It was the scene of one of the first christian churches in the country. And it must have been a tremendous strategic location, since it was in the Jordan Valley and also near the Syria border. You can also visit traces of walled cities of the Ages of Bronze and Iron, Byzantine churches and houses, an Islamic suburb and a small medieval mosque. Pronounced "béella" since the sound "p" has no Arabic pronunciation. It takes two hours to drive there from Amman. The entrance to the ruins is free, although children will approach you to sell you flower necklaces.
Some say Um Qays was the ancient Gadara, the site of the miracle of the possessed and pigs. What is certain is that it was an important cultural and philosophical centre, that was born and raised great poets and philosophers, some of whom dubbed it the "New Athens". It is located on top of a hill that gives great views of the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley. And in the ruins you can see two theaters, one of them built in black basalt, a residential area a colonnaded street, a basilica with five naves, underground mausoleum (hypogaeum) and the Museum of Umm Qais in the Interpretation Centre , which has an interesting collection of mosaics and statues. The entry costs 5DJ. It's a half hour drive from Pella (two hours from Amman).
Umm al-Jimal was one of the cities of the Decapolis in Jordan, but it contrasts with the rest. It's located on the edge of the basalt desert in the northeast of the country. To get to Irbid, it takes about an hour from Amman. I still don't know who built it or when, but supposedly, it's was in the 2nd century and served for military work, constituting an Arabic defence against the Romans. 747 earthquakes have toppled it, and it was never completely rebuilt. What's most outstanding is the large number of buildings that there were to store and convey water, because of its location in the desert. There are channels carved in stone, and covered cisterns and discovered baths. It's completely and exclusively built in black basalt, because of the shortages of wood and other materials in the region. Still standing is the fort's tower, some houses, arcades and several churches. Currently, much of the city is clean and has ways to get there by tour because there is a working archaeology project there.
One of the cities of the Decapolis in Jordan contrasts with the rest. Located on the edge of the desert basalt northeast of the country. It takes about an hour from Amman. Do not know who built it or when, but it is believed to be from the second century and served military purpose being a Roman defence. In 747 Earthquakes toppled it, and it was never completely rebuilt. What catches the attention is the large number of buildings that had to store and convey water. We see channels carved in stone, and covered cisterns and open baths. It is completely and exclusively built in black basalt, due to shortages of wood and other materials in the region. Still standing: a tower, some houses, arcades and several churches. Currently much of the city is clean and there are paths because there is a working archeology project in the area.