The history of Umm Qais is largely unknown on the northwest hills of Jordan and offers spectacular views on Lake Tiberias, the Yarmouk River and Golan Heights. You can learn more about the attractions of Jordan with Cairo Top Tours.
Perched on a beautiful hill overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, the city of Umm Qays boasts impressive ancient remains, such as the splendid black basalt theater, the basilica, and the adjacent courtyard littered with finely carved black sarcophagi, the road main colonnade and a side street lined with shops, an underground mausoleum, two bathrooms, a nymphaeum, a city gate and the few remains that trace the contours of what was once a huge hippodrome.
In Hellenistic times Umm Qais, like most of Jordan, was conquered by the Ptolemies and the Seleucids - parts of the walls and the base of a temple date back to that time. The city was then conquered by Alexander Jannaeus in 83 B.C and some Nabatean finds indicate the presence of that population as well. Freed from the domain of Hasmonaean by Pompeo in 63 A.D, it was under the Roman Empire as one of the cities of the Decapolis.
Umm Qais is renowned for its vibrant intelligent life and as the birthplace of some important writers and scholars of the ancient world, prosperity continued throughout the Byzantine era when Umm Qais was the seat of a bishopric. His association with one of Jesus' miracles elevated his status to a pilgrimage site, and the five-aisled basilica was built to house pilgrims. While continuing to thrive after the Islamic conquest of 636, the city began to decline after the Abbasids defeated the Ommayyads in 750, who moved the center of the caliphate to east Baghdad.
A well-traveled bridge between sea and desert, east and west, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a land of mesmerizing beauty and contrasts, from the Jordan Valley, fertile, and ever-changing, to the remote desert canyons, immense and still. Visitors can explore splendid desert castles, gaze in awe at the haunting wilderness of Wadi Rum, or bathe in the restful waters of the Red Sea.