Teri's Travels Through Jordan - Amman, Mt. Nebo, Jordan River

by Teri E. Popp, Tastemaker in Residence

Our second day in Jordan started with a flight from Tel Aviv, Israel to Amman, Jordan. Our guide and driver picked us up at the airport and we were on our way to visit Mt. Nebo and see the Jordan River from the Jordanian side.

We first visited St. George Church, located in Madaba, Jordan to learn about the Christian past of the area. A small chapel, it contains ancient tile work with maps of the local countryside.

From St. George Church, we made our way up into the mountains to visit Mt. Nebo and the Memorial to Moses curated and cared for by the Franciscans. We walked where Moses stood. According to the Book of Deuteronomy in the Bible, Moses ascended the ridge to view the Promised Land of Israel, but he was commanded by God not to enter. Accordingly, while Moses directed his people to the valley below, he, himself, did not enter the valley and was buried in Moab.

We made our way down from the ridge of Mt. Nebo to the Jordan River where it is believed John the Baptist practiced his ministry and where he baptized Jesus Christ. The Jordanian government is currently excavating baptismal centers from 5th and 6th century Christian churches that were located on this site.

The setting sun highlighted the many churches located in the area. And we each dipped our foot in the river to remind us of our own baptisms.

We finished our day of touring by returning to Amman to look at the ancient Citadel known as al-Qasr (meaning "the Palace") and the city by nightfall. From there, we looked down on the Roman theater, a bustling hive of activity on that night.  

Believed to have been founded ca. 7,000 BC, Amman was also known as the City of Philadelphia, so named after the Ptolemaic ruler, Philadelphus. The city has been referenced in the Bible many times. Viewing the ancient city of Amman from above recapped another fabulous day of traveling through the Middle East.