St. George Church
We start our morning arriving in the city of Madaba; it’s a little chilly, being November, but still much warmer than home this time of year.
We get off the bus and the first thing we see is this wonderful mosaic wall mural…
I’m not even sure if this thing has a name, being that it decorates the parking lot we’re in.
What’s really amazing is the time and detail put into cutting and placing each individual piece of stone.
Leaving the mural, we walk up the street toward St. George Church.
Along the way the streets are quiet; shops have yet to begin selling their merchandise.
It’s roughly a one mile hike from the mosaic wall before we arrive in the courtyard of the church.
The real treasure here isn’t the 19th-century Greek Orthodox church however, but what it lies inside…
During construction in 1884, builders discovered the remnants of an old Byzantine church.
Among the rubble, was found a mosaic of such incredible historic significance:
The Madaba Mosaic Map.
The Madaba Map is a map of the Middle East, dating back to the 6th century (542 – 570) AD and contains the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land.
Beside the Madaba Map, the rest of the church is also pretty neat…
with all sorts of depictions and wall mosaics.
After we wrap up at the church we make a short trip over to a mosaic shop.
Here, they hand make all sorts of mosaic items.
It’s very meticulous work building these things…
They’re each made with locally sourced stones.
Check out our photo gallery with photos from Madaba, Mt. Nebo, and Bethany!!
“Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites”
Driving along the route Moses was forbidden to travel on by the King of Edom, we arrive at Mt. Nebo…
and to greet our arrival are magnificent views of the Jordan Valley.
Mt. Nebo is where Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land, a land he was forbidden to enter himself.
Outside the present-day shrine stands an enigmatic serpentine cross, the Brazen Serpent Monument. Created by Italian artist Giovanni Fantoni, it imaginatively merges the life-saving bronze serpent set up by Moses into the desert (Numbers 21:4-9) and the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.
Bethany: The Baptism Site of Jesus
This site has been mostly preserved for 2000 years.
It is here John the baptist lived and was believed to have baptised Jesus.
It looks dry right now, but a long time ago, the Jordan river flowed through the site.
Further down a walking path is small church
as well as the present day Jordan river
On the river is an active baptism site on both the Jordanian
and Israeli side of the river.