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.
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.
There are apparently two arches built around 130 CE to honor Roman Emperor Hadrian—one in Athens and one in Jerash. The former is undoubtedly more studied, but the latter is objectively more beautiful! Maybe it’s the color of the stones in the afternoon light, the unconventional architectural features, or just the sheer size of it.