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Amman – Um er-Rasas – Bethany

A day trip from Amman to Um er-Rasas and Bethany takes you on a fascinating journey through Jordan’s rich heritage and offers a glimpse into its religious significance.

Um er-Rasas:

The adventure begins in Amman, the capital city of Jordan. From there, you’ll travel southward towards Um er-Rasas, a UNESCO World Heritage site located approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Amman. Also known as Kastron Mefa’a, Um er-Rasas is an archaeological gem that showcases the remains of a Byzantine and early Islamic town. The site is renowned for its well-preserved mosaics, churches, and other architectural features that provide insights into the past.

One of the standout structures in Um er-Rasas is the Church of St. Stephen. This church is adorned with magnificent mosaic floors depicting various scenes from the Bible, including stories from the Old and New Testaments. The mosaics are a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship of the Byzantine period and offer a window into the religious beliefs and cultural practices of the time. As you explore Um er-Rasas, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the history and beauty of this ancient town.


After your exploration of Um er-Rasas, your journey continues to Bethany beyond the Jordan, also known as Al-Maghtas. This site holds immense religious significance for Christians as it is believed to be the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Bethany beyond the Jordan has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a destination of pilgrimage for Christians from around the world.

Upon arrival at Bethany, you’ll have the chance to explore the archaeological remains and visit the baptismal site. The serene surroundings and the historical and religious significance of the location create a profound and introspective experience for visitors. Many people come to Bethany to immerse themselves in the waters of the Jordan River, seeking a connection to the biblical events that unfolded there. The experience of being in this sacred place can be deeply spiritual and reflective.

In addition to its religious importance, Bethany also offers archaeological remains that shed light on the lives and customs of the people who inhabited the region thousands of years ago. The excavations have uncovered churches, baptismal pools, and other structures that provide glimpses into the early Christian communities and their practices. Exploring these archaeological remains allows you to piece together the history of the region and gain a deeper understanding of its cultural and religious heritage.

After a day filled with exploration and discovery, you’ll return to Amman. The city itself has much to offer in terms of cultural and historical landmarks. You can visit the Citadel, an ancient site with ruins dating back to the Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad periods. The Roman Theater, another iconic landmark, is a well-preserved amphitheatre that provides insights into the architectural prowess of the Romans. The Amman Archaeological Museum houses a diverse collection of artefacts that further enrich your understanding of Jordan’s ancient past.

Amman is also known for its vibrant culinary scene. You can indulge in traditional Jordanian dishes, such as mansaf (a dish made with lamb, rice, and yogurt sauce) or falafel (deep-fried chickpea patties). Exploring the local cuisine allows you to immerse yourself in the flavors and aromas of the region, creating a sensory journey.

A day trip from Amman to Um er-Rasas and Bethany offers a unique opportunity to explore two significant historical and biblical sites in Jordan. From the well-preserved mosaics and architectural features of Um er-Rasas to the spiritual significance of Bethany beyond the Jordan, this journey allows you to delve into the region’s rich heritage and connect with its religious traditions. It is an experience that combines historical exploration, cultural appreciation, and spiritual reflection, creating lasting memories for visitors to Jordan.

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