Madaba City

Madaba, or the “city of mosaics,”  is located near the iconic Mount Nebo and only 30 kilometers from Amman, in Jordan.
Its striking historic mosaics, which take tourists to the Byzantine and Umayyad eras, are a real hidden gem. The most well-known is the Madaba Map, which dates to the sixth century AD and is the earliest known cartography of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Madaba also has a large number of churches and archeological monuments with beautiful mosaics inside. They narrate tales of that era’s nature, mythology, and everyday life.

History of Madaba

Madaba’s history goes back around 4500 years, and during the Roman and Byzantine eras, it was a part of the Arabian Province. The city flourished under Justinian’s administration in the sixth century after Christianity arrived in the fifth century AD. Even its magnificent mosaic churches, such as St. George’s Church’s well-known Madaba Map, made it noteworthy. This is the first known map depiction of the Holy Land and Jerusalem.
Despite a period of relative obscurity between the 13th and 19th centuries, Madaba re-emerged in the 20th century as a prominent center of mosaic and craft production. The sum of these events earned it the nickname “City of Mosaics.” Today, it is a major tourist destination in Jordan, where visitors can explore a large number of churches. As well as archaeological remains and Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, including the famous Madaba Map, the Archaeological Park and the Church of the Virgin Mary with its 6th century mosaic.

Hotels and Accommodation

Despite its tiny size, Madaba provides a wide range of lodging options to accommodate various tastes and budgets. There is a choice between the Mosaic City Hotel and the Mount Nebo Hotel & Restaurant for those looking for elegance and comfort. These are upscale hotels with exquisite accommodations and top-notch amenities. Also, there are spas and restaurants with expansive views. However, the Madaba Youth Hostel is a great choice for tourists on a lower budget. Furthermore, smaller family hotels offer a more affordable, yet still warm and genuine, experience.

Since most lodging options are found in the heart of the city, visitors can easily get to all the main attractions. This is the situation with the Archaeological Park and the Church of San Jorge. Many of these places also provide extra services like guided tours and airport transfers. ensuring a relaxing and enjoyable stay in Jordan’s enchanting mosaic city of Madaba.

Things to do in Madaba

St George church madaba

St. George's Church

A popular tourist destination, the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George is home to the renowned Madaba Map, a priceless piece of archeological artifacts. With over two million limestone pieces, this magnificent Byzantine mosaic dates back to the sixth century. As so, it is the earliest Middle Eastern cartographic representation. Jerusalem is in the center, and the Holy Land is seen from Lebanon to the Nile. The church became a must-visit location for anybody studying biblical history and Byzantine culture because to its map. because it has made it possible for historians and archaeologists to piece together a large portion of Palestine’s and Jerusalem’s past.

Madaba Archaeological Complex

This archeological complex is a historical and artistic gem that is situated in the center of Madaba. Featuring a variety of striking mosaics and archeological artifacts from the Roman and Byzantine eras, this outdoor museum first opened its doors in 1995. The Hippolytus Room, which features mosaics telling the well-known and historic tale of the young hunter and his stepmother, is one of the main draws.
However, there are more religious mosaics in the San Eliano Crypt. Undoubtedly, investigating this archeological site is a way to learn more about Jordan’s past and culture. Visitors can also get up close and personal with the artistic marvels that have withstood the test of time. This location is highly recommended, regardless of your interest in history or just general travel curiosity.

Madaba Archeological Park

Mount Nebo Madaba

Mount Nebo

Near Madaba is Mount Nebo,  an essential destination for both pilgrims and travelers in search of a spiritual experience. According to the Bible, this mountain is sacred because it is the place from where Moses the prophet contemplated the Promised Land before he died. When visiting this site, travelers will enjoy spectacular views that encompass the Samaria and Judean Mountains, also including the Dead Sea.
To access Mount Nebo travelers can take a short drive from Madaba, from a taxi or through tourist services. In addition to enjoying the religious history and ancient mosaics that adorn the place, masses are also celebrated on Fridays and Sundays. This adds an extra spiritual touch, turning the excursion into an enriching experience both culturally and spiritually.

Wondering what to wear or when to go? Check our Jordan guide to discover more!

Check Jordan Travel Guide


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