Jordan’s location in the geographical “near east” has exposed it to dozens of civilizations over the course of history. In the last three thousand years alone the region has invariably fallen under the Persian, Greek, Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, and Ottoman empires, the legacies of which are often still visible today.
Shortly after moving to Amman I noticed this unique building on a distant hill and I set out on a sort of scavenger hunt to find it. The walk from downtown to Jabal Al-Ashrafiyeh is packed with winding streets and steep staircases (some of which go nowhere). To this day the church is one of my favorite landmarks in Amman and I often make the trek there when I’m feeling like getting some exercise and exploring the city. I like to think of it as a pilgrimage — it is a religious site after all!
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.