This ornamental fountain was constructed in 191 AD, and dedicated to the Nymphs. Such fountains were common in Roman cities, and provided a refreshing focal point for the city. This fine example was originally embellished with marble facings on the lower level and painted plaster on the upper level, topped with a half-dome roof Water cascaded through 7 carved lions' heads into small basins on the sidewalk and overflowed from there through drains into the underground sewer system.
The procession to the Temple of Artemis originally started across the river in the part of Gerasa now covered by modern Jerash. Crossing the Cardo, worshippers approached the impressive entrance to the processional way leading up to the Temple of Artemis. Its massive columns and a carved portico were flanked by 2-storey shops.
15. Temple Esplanade
The monumental staircase, originally enclosed by high walls, leads up to a U-shaped terrace where an open-air altar was built, the foundations of which are still visible. A second staircase leads through a colonnade of 22 Corinthian columns and into the Temenos. This sacred precinct, 162 x 121 m, was defined by Corinthian columns on all 4 sides.
16. Propylaeum Church
Opposite the Propylaeum, this Byzantine church was built in the 6th century on the site of a colonnaded courtyard which formed part of the processional way. The columns were used as part of the church.
17. Naghawi's Mosque
On the right, behind 4 standing Corinthian columns is what seems to be an Ayyubid or Mamluk mosque discovered in 1981. This was probably built sometime during the 12th-15th centuries, using materials from the colonnaded atrium of a Roman house that stood there.
18. West Baths
The massive West Baths, on the right, covered an area of 50 x 70 m and now lie where they fell after the earthquake of January 749 AD. Typical of the 2nd century, the Baths were an imposing complex of hot and cold rooms and other facilities.
19. North Tetrapylon
The second Tetrapylon, located where the North Decumanus or cross street intersects the Cardo, was built during Jerash's redesign, probably as a monumental entrance to the North Theater. At a later date, it was dedicated to Julia Domna, the Syrian wife of Emperor Septimius Severus, and probably had a domed roof in the 2nd century AD, elaborate carved decoration, arches and 4 sides to allow traffic to pass through.
20. North Colonnaded Street
Beyond the North Tetrapylon is a stretch of the Cardo that was never widened, and retains its simple Ionic columns.
21. North Gate
At the end of the Cardo, the North Gate was built in 115 AD. Its odd wedge shape was probably necessary to align the gate on the inside with the Cardo, and on the outside with the Roman road, which led north to the Decapolis city of Pella.
22. North Theater
Just off the North Decumanus, the North Theater was built in 165 AD. In front is a colonnaded plaza where a staircase led up to the entrance. The theater originally had only 14 rows of seats, and was used as a performance stage as well as the city council chamber; the names of the tribes represented in the council are inscribed in Greek on some of the seats, along with those of several gods.
In 235 AD, the theater was doubled in size to its present capacity of 1600. Two vaulted passages formed the entrance to the orchestra, and spectators entered through passages between the upper rows of seats. The theater fell into disuse in the 5th century, and in later centuries, many of its stones were taken for use in other buildings.
23. Church of Bishop Isaiah
Built in 559 AD, this Byzantine church was used until the earthquake of 749 AD.
24. Temple of Artemis
Artemis, daughter of Zeus and sister of Apollo, was the patron goddess of Gerasa. This Temple was a place of sacrifice dedicated to Artemis and built in 150. Although small, the temple's Corinthian columns soar impressively from the hilltop site; 11 of the 12 front columns are still standing. The temple's inner chamber was originally clad with marble slabs and housed a shrine which probably contained a statue of the goddess.
25. Three Churches
At least 15 Byzantine churches have been found in Jerash, and more are thought to remain buried. Three of the finest are grouped together round a shared atrium. At the north, the Church of St. Cosmos and St. Damian, twin brother doctors who were martyred in the 4th century, has the most splendid floor mosaics to be seen in Jerash. An inscription dates the mosaic to 553 AD, and the images include the churchwarden Theodore with his wife Georgia, praying with widespread arms.
In the center, the church of St. John the Baptist dates from 531 AD. Its mosaic floor, now damaged, included images of the four seasons, plants and animals, and the cities of Alexandria and Memphis in Egypt.
The church of St. George, at the south, was built in 530 AD, and continued to be used after the earthquake of 749 AD. Its mosaics were therefore destroyed when the 8th century Christian iconoclastic movement banned the representation of humans and animals.
26. Church of St. Genesius
The floor mosaic of this church dates back to its dedication in 611 AD, just 3 years before the Persian invasion.
27. Saints Peter and Paul Church
This church complex has a nice mosaic but they aren't as grandiose as the other church complex at Jerash (highlight #25).
28. South Theater
Built during the reign of Emperor Domitian, between 90-92 AD, the South Theater seats more than 3000 spectators and serves today as the primary venue for the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts. The first level of the ornate stage, originally 2-stories has been reconstructed and is still used today. The remarkable acoustics allows a speaker at the center of the orchestra floor to be heard by the entire auditorium without raising his/her voice.
Two vaulted passages lead into the orchestra, and four passages at the back of the theater give access to the upper rows of seats. Some seats could be reserved and the Greek letters which designate them can still be seen. For those who wish to climb more steps, the top row of seats affords an excellent view of the Jerash ruins.
29. Temple of Zeus
Erected in 162 AD, this temple stands on ruins of earlier sacred sites. From the Oval Plaza, a staircase leads up to an esplanade (in front of the temple), which was a Temenos, or sacred precinct. Originally, a rock in the esplanade served as a high place, and was enclosed into a shrine (Naos) in 100-80 BC.
This shrine was modified in 69-70 AD and in the 2nd century AD, probably under Emperor Hadrian. From there, another staircase led to the temple, which was originally surrounded by 15 m high Corinthian columns.
30. The Museum
Not to be missed when you visit Jerash is the Archaeological Museum, which houses a fascinating collection of artifacts found at the site. These include gold jewelry, coins, glass and perhaps the most unusual pottery theater tickets.
Hours: 8:30 - 17:00 in winter, 8:30 - 18:00 in summer, 10:00 - 16:00 on official holidays. Admission is free.