Madaba, the city of mosaics

exploration
Madaba, the city of mosaics

Famous for its Byzantine mosaics, Madaba possesses the oldest map of Palestine, an incredible historical and biblical treasure from the 6th century.

Reached in less than an hour from Amman by public transport, this former Moabite city is mentioned in the Bible and has been inhabited for over 4,500 years. The city hosts the largest community of Christians, representing a third of its population. Thus, the muezzin's call on Friday is sometimes followed by the sound of Orthodox bells. Madaba is also famous for its ancient mosaics. Many schools can attest to that, going back to the Byzantine era.
To give you an idea of this art, visit the archaeological park, which houses an impressive collection: a mosaic fragment from the 1st century BC, the remains of the four seasons, hunting scenes of the 'burning palace,' etc. But the most extraordinary is in the church of Saint George, which houses the oldest map of Palestine-from Tyre to the Nile Delta, the Mediterranean to the eastern desert with, at its centre, the city of Jerusalem. Although two-thirds of the mosaic is missing, this map still shows the location of more than 130 biblical sites and is a gold mine for theologians.

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