There's something magical about ruins.
History has seeped in through each crevice and each crumbling stone tells a hundred enchanting stories about the past.
I've always been fascinated by the beauty of those broken buildings that emit as much grandeur in their crumbling state as they used to do back in their day. Exploring ruins, touching those history-steeped surfaces, knowing more about the people who inhabited those walls when they were standing tall fills me with a sense of awe that very few things can.
So, when I went to Jordan (few years back), I was ecstatic to experience some of the most magnificent ruins all over the country! The ruins in Jordan vary in architecture & culture - from the Roman amphitheatres of Jerash to the rock-cut ruins of Petra built by the Bedouins to the holy Christian ruins at Mt. Nebo; there's a wide variety of history-rich monuments to explore and get mesmerized by. And so I thought, that these magnificent ruins deserve a separate post for my fellow travel enthusiasts & ruin-lovers out there.
1. Roman Ruins at Jerash
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Jordan, the Greco-Roman ruins in Jerash are sprawled over a wide area that can be explored by foot over 3-4 hours. The imposing Hadrian's Arch or Triumphal Arch, built AD 129, will welcome you into the ruin complex if you enter from the southern end. The central attraction of the site is the forum which is oblong in shape, with the paved limestone plaza surrounded by 56 Ionic columns that make for great photo-ops.
The main thoroughfare of the old city runs on one side. It is a colonnaded street that still flaunts the original paved stones over which chariots used to run back in the day. There's also a small museum which showcases the history of Jerash and has an impressive collection of old artefacts from the site.
Tickets: 8 JD or free entry if you have the Jordan Pass
Guides: You can get good guides at around 20-25 JD near the ticket counter
2. Ancient Ruins of Petra
When one says 'Jordan', the first thing that comes to mind is the famous rose-hued archaeological ruins of Petra. Built more than 2000 years ago by the Nabateans, the ruins at Petra are not only a World Heritage Site, but also included in the list of the New Wonders Of The World!
Tickets: If you are staying overnight in Petra - 50 JD for 1 day, 55 JD for 2 days, 60 JD for 3 days
If you are a day visitor in Petra - 90 JD
Guides: 50-100 JD depending upon what monuments you want to cover
3. Ruins of Ajloun Castle
4. Christian ruins at Mt. Nebo
Even if you are not someone who is interested in holy pilgrimages or historical sites, you can still enjoy the stunning panoramic view of the Dead Sea & the Desert of Judah from the top of the mountain.
5. Roman ruins at Amman Citadel
The Citadel also houses a small but impressive Archeological Museum, behind which lies another attraction - the Umayyad Palace. The ruins of these 8th-century royal & residential buildings have been excavated by archaeologists since the 1920s. You can see the majestic domed audience hall and an ancient cistern that used to be the source of water supply for the area in days of yore.
Tickets: 2 JD or free entry if you have the Jordan Pass
Guides: Knowledgeable guides available for around 15 JD near the ticket counter
This country is largely dependent on tourism for its economy, and they have been hit badly due to the pandemic (as a lot of other tourism-based countries). So, you can do your bit in helping this beautiful country get back on its feet - and have a safe trip yourself as this offbeat country will surely not have big tourist crowds like some other popular destinations!