Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018

Tripoto
23rd May 2018
Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 1/17 by Smitha Aji
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” … People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.— (LUKE 3)

Day 1 Amman & Petra

We stayed at Le Meridien Amman a five star hotel located in the heart of Shmeisani commercial district, close to Amman Citadel, Roman Theater and shopping areas. Le Meridien Amman is a 45-minute drive from Queen Alia International Airport.

Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 2/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji
Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 3/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji
Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 4/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji

We travelled as a family to Jordan for three days, and we spend rest of the 10 days in Israel. We hired a cab for four hours one way from our hotel in Amman and back. We were wandering in the wilderness of petra for 4 hours and got back to the hotel before dark. Petra is also known as the rose-red city, a name it gets from the wonderful colour of the rock from which many of the city's structures were carved. The Nabataeans buried their dead in intricate tombs that were cut of the mountain sides and the city also had temples, a theatre, following the roman annexation and later the byzantine influence, a colonnaded street and churches.

From the visitor center is the first point of entry to the ancient city of petra. There is a narrow gorge which leads the visitors into petra. The siq resulted from a natural splitting of the mountain and it is 1.2km long. A triumphal arch once spanned the entrance to it. Two water channels run along both rock sides. As well as presenting a dramatic entryway into petra, the siq also holds many relics from petra's past, including a paved road, sabinos alexandros station and nabatean baetyls (sacred stones).

Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 5/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji
Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 6/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji

The siq opens up onto petra's most magnificent facade; the Treasury, or Al Khazna. It is almost 40 meters high and intricately decorated with corinthian capitals, friezes, figures and more. The treasury is crowned by a funerary urn, which according to local legend conceals a pharaoh's treasure. The treasury was probably constructed in the 1st century BC.

Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 7/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji
Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 8/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji

We took rides on donkeys to reach the Ad Deir, or the Monastery, is one of the largest monuments in petra measuring 47m wide by 48.2m high. The interior is occupied by two sides benches and an altar against the rear wall. This space was used as a bicilinium for the meetings of religious associations.The monastery dates to the early 2nd century AD, during the reign of King Rabel 2. The hall was later re used as a christian chapel and crosses were carved into the rear wall, this is how the structure got its name.

Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 9/17 by Smitha Aji
Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 10/17 by Smitha Aji
Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 11/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji

Day 2

Madaba - Visit to St george orthodox church, Jordan

Madaba is an ancient town in Jordan, southwest of the capital Amman. It’s known for its 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George.

The Madaba Mosaic Map covers the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, which is located northwest of the city centre. The church was built in 1896 AD, over the remains of a much earlier 6th century Byzantine church. The mosaic panel enclosing the Map was originally around 15.6 X 6m, 94 sq.m., only about a quarter of which is preserved. Best known for its spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, Madaba is home to the famous 6th century Mosaic Map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. With two million pieces of vividly coloured local stone, it depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns as far as the Nile Delta.

Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 12/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji
Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 13/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji

Day 3 Visit to Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo is an elevated ridge in Jordan, approximately 710 metres above sea level, mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. The view from the summit provides a panorama of the Holy Land and, to the north, a more limited one of the valley of the River Jordan.

Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 14/17 by Smitha Aji
Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 15/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji

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.

The mosaics can be seen inside the present-day shrine.

The main mosaic, about 9 metres by 3 metres, depicts monastic wine-making, hunters and various animals.

The main mosaic, about 9 metres by 3 metres, depicts monastic wine-making, hunters and various animals.

On a clear day, today’s pilgrims can see the panorama Moses viewed: The Dead Sea, the Jordan River valley, Jericho, Bethlehem and the distant hills of Jerusalem.

As Deuteronomy 34:5-6 recounts, Moses died there in the land of Moab “but no one knows his burial place to this day”. Moses did, however, eventually reach the Promised Land. He and Elijah were seen with Jesus at the latter’s Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36).

Mount Nebo is now in western Jordan. At 820 metres high, it looks down 1220 metres on the nearby Dead Sea (which is about 400 metres below sea level).

Early Christians from Jerusalem made it a place of pilgrimage. In the 3rd or 4th century monks from Egypt built a small church on one of its peaks, Siyagha (a name meaning monastery), to commemorate the end of Moses’ life. By the end of the 4th century, an empty “tomb of Moses” was being shown to pilgrims on the mountain.

Day 3 Visit to Jordan River Baptism site

The place where Jesus was baptized

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him…” (Matthew 3:16-17)

– John the Baptist Church

Just east of the Jordan River, about 9 kilometers north of the dead sea modern explorers discovered the ruins and foundations of a large number of sandstone piers related to a Byzantine church built at the time of Emperor Anastasius (491-518 AD). This church was considered the most notable memorial church of St. John the Baptist on the east bank of the Jordan River. Theodosius (A.D 530) wrote “5 miles north of the Dead sea in the place where the Lord was baptized there is a single pillar and on the pillar an iron cross has been fastened, there too is the church of St. John the Baptist, which the Emperor Anastasius built: this church is very lofty, being built above large chambers, on account of the Jordan River when it overflows.” Although the pillar marking the place where the place where the Lord was baptized is not yet discovered, the archaeological and architectural remains match with what was described by Theodosius.

Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 16/17 by Smitha Aji
PIc Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji
Photo of Pilgrimage trip to Jordan #bestof2018 17/17 by Smitha Aji
Pic Courtesy taken by Smitha Aji

Reasons to Visit

The Baptism Site has been authenticated by all major Christian Church leaders as one of the three holiest sites of Christianity, along with Bethlehem and Jerusalem. It is the place where Jesus was baptized by John.

John the Baptist lived here for about 20 years. He resided in a cave on Elijah’s Hill.

The site and the surrounding area has been a place where many Prophets have passed through.

The Baptism Site was a Pilgrimage Station on the early Pilgrimage Trail.

It is an historical site; persevered just as it was over 2,000 years ago.

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