Arch of Hadrian at the roman ruins of Jerash, Jordan.

© Kristof Bellens/Shutterstock

Hadrian’s Arch

Top choice in Jerash

There’s no better way of gaining a sense of the pomp and splendour of Rome than walking through the triumphal, 13m-tall Hadrian’s Arch at the entrance to Jerash, built to honour the visiting emperor. From here you can see a honey-coloured assortment of columns and walls, some delicately carved with acanthus leaves, some solid and practical, extending all the way to a pale view of hills in the distance – just as the Roman architects intended.

The gateway was originally twice this height and encompassed three enormous wooden doors.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Jerash attractions

1. Hippodrome

0.12 MILES

Built sometime between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, this ancient sports field (244m by 50m) was once surrounded by seating for up to 15,000 spectators,…

2. South Gate

0.29 MILES

Two hundred metres north of the hippodrome is the imposing South Gate, which was likely constructed in AD 130 and originally served as one of four…

3. Upper Temple of Zeus

0.32 MILES

Though most of it has collapsed, this temple has imposing 15m-high columns that are some of Jerash's most dramatic. The thick walls of the sanctum still…

4. South Theatre

0.33 MILES

As you enter the South Theatre through a wooden door between the arches, there’s little to suggest the treasure encased by the plain exterior. But then…

5. Lookout

0.33 MILES

Near the South Theatre, this viewpoint offers a panorama of the forum and beyond – one of the first opportunities to truly take in the size of Jerash.

6. Temple of Zeus

0.34 MILES

Built in AD 162 over the remains of an earlier Roman temple, the Temple of Zeus was once approached by a magnificent stairway leading from the temenos …

7. Vaulted Gallery

0.34 MILES

The vaulted passageway under the courtyard of the Temple of Zeus is a good starting point in Jerash's ancient city. When your eyes become accustomed to…

8. Forum

0.36 MILES

Whatever the light and whatever the weather, the forum, with its organ-pipe columns arranged around an unusual oval-shaped plaza, is always breathtaking…