On the western side of the cardo maximus is the elegant nymphaeum, the main ornamental fountain of Jerash, dedicated to the water nymphs. Built about AD 191, the two-storey construction was elaborately decorated, faced with marble slabs on the lower level, plastered above and topped with a half dome. Water cascaded into a large pool at the front, with the overflow pouring out through seven carved lions’ heads.

Although it’s been quite some time since water poured forth, the well-preserved structure remains one of the highlights of Jerash. Several finely sculpted Corinthian columns still frame the fountain, and at its foot is a lovely pink-granite basin, which was probably added by the Byzantines. At one point the entire structure was capped by a semi-dome in the shape of a shell, and you can still make out the elaborate capitals lining the base of the ceiling.

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Nearby Jerash attractions

1. Propylaeum

0.03 MILES

Built in AD 150, this is the monumental gateway to the Temple of Artemis. It was originally flanked by shops.

2. Cathedral

0.04 MILES

South of the nymphaeum, an elaborate staircase rises from the cardo maximus to Jerash's only cathedral. Little more than a modest Byzantine church, it was…

3. Cardo Maximus

0.07 MILES

Jerash’s superb colonnaded cardo maximus is straight in the way that only a Roman road can be. This is one of Jerash’s great highlights, and the walk…

4. Temple of Artemis

0.08 MILES

Dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of hunting and fertility and the daughter of Zeus and Leto, this temple was built between AD 150 and 170, and flanked by…

5. Church of St Theodore

0.08 MILES

Little remains of this church apart from the twin colonnades (picturesquely overgrown with wildflowers in spring) and the apse, which overlooks the…

6. Courtyard of the Fountain

0.11 MILES

This ancient fountain was once fed by a local reservoir. When it was dedicated to Dionysus, it was alleged that the god would turn its water into wine,…

7. Southern Tetrapylon

0.11 MILES

Marking the intersection of the cardo maximus with the south decumanus, this four-pillared structure is in good repair.

8. North Theatre

0.11 MILES

Built about AD 165 and enlarged in 235, the beautiful little North Theatre was most likely used for government meetings rather than artistic performances…