Um Qais

  • Site type: Historical – Religious
  • Time to visit: 1-2 Hours

Named Gadara by the ancient Roman’s. Gadara commands a magnificent view over the northern Jordan Valley, the Sea of Galilee (Lake of Tiberias), the Yarmouk River gorge and the Golan Heights.

Gadara is known today as Umm Qais and boasts an impressive colonnaded street, a vaulted terrace, and the ruins of two theatres.

Famous for breeding Greek philosophers and poets, Gadara’s original inhabitation dates back to the 7th BC and was a center of conflict between the Greeks, Romans and Jews in the region up to the Islamic conquests in the 6th C.

In the early 2nd BC the Roman Byzantines seized the city, expanding its infrastructure to fulfil the emperor’s vision of making Gadara an autonomous stronghold in the Decapolis.

Thought to be the location where Jesus Christ performed a miracle, casting out a devil from a man who had escaped the city, Um Qais also holds significant religious relevance to pilgrimage tourists.