Umm Qais

Umm Qais Jordan Umm Qais, also a city of the Decapolis, is the site of the ancient Greco-Roman town of Gadara founded during the fourth Century BC. According to the Bible, it is the place where Jesus cast out the devil from two men into a herd of pigs (Matthew 8: 28-34). Today, a considerable portion of the original Roman amphitheater has survived. The seats face west, and are brought to life at sunset. Covered passageways stand in the back, and until recently, a six-foot headless white marble goddess sat at the foot of one of the amphitheater’s internal staircases. The statue - thought to be of Tyche, the patron goddess of Gadara - can now be seen in Umm Qais’ archeological museum. The museum also houses a Byzantine mosaic frieze and a marble sarcophagus. Next to the theater is a colonnaded street that was once probably the town’s commercial center. Near the black basalt theater are the columns of the great Basilica of Gadara. Further west along the colonnaded street are a mausoleum and public baths. After a few hundred meters you can barely make out the remains of what once was a hippodrome.

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