Picturing Jordan

Sharing Jordan with the world — one picture at a time.

Greco–Roman Ruins of Pella

Remains of the classical basilica of Pella

Remains of the classical basilica of Pella

These days there isn’t much to see of the Greco–Roman city of Pella in northwestern Jordan. Sadly, the ancient ruins here suffer from being slightly smaller, slightly less well-preserved, and slightly less convenient to visit than the similar ruins at Jerash. With a bit of imagination and some historical background, however, they are equally enchanting and even have a unique character of their own.

Human activity in the area dates back to the Bronze Age. Eventually the region came under Greek influence and the city was renamed “Pella” in honor of the birthplace of the famous conqueror Alexander the Great — its namesake being Pella, Macedonia, in what is now northern Greece. The site is currently located near the Arab town of Tabaqat Fahl.

The best way to visit Pella is a hike around the site and its scenic landscape in early Spring. You can find maps, GPS coördinates, and turn-by-turn navigation cues on the Hiking in Jordan website. Visit your auto mechanic, fix up your brakes, and then take the dramatic descent into the Jordan Valley to see this valuable piece of human history. Anyone staying in Jordan for more than a few days should absolutely add Pella to their list of “must see” attractions in the country.