Certainly one of my favorite places to visit in Jordan is Madaba, home of the famous Madaba map in the church of St. George, which is still an active Orthodox Church. The dominate form of Christianity in Jordan is Greek Orthodox, but it makes up only a tiny percentage of the population, perhaps 2%. Here is the church itself…..
And here are a whole series of shots of the mosaic map in the floor of this church. It was damaged at some point, as you can see. It’s historical importance is that it provides us with one of the earliest maps of the whole region. One can tell it comes from later than the 2nd century because it depicts the Roman cardo in Jerusalem built when the city had become a pagan city called Aelia Capitolina. Yes that’s the cardo or main st. down the middle of Jerusalem in the center of this picture. Here’s a wider shot where you can also see Bethlehem Epratha and other familiar places, but of course you have to be able to read Greek. Here below is a shot of Jericho and the place where the Jordan flows into the Dead Sea…. notice that the fish are smart enough to turn around when they get to the Dead Sea!
In our next post we will visit the Church of the Apostles also in Madaba which also has great mosaics, but it is now just a museum, not an active church.