The South Gate in Jerash, Jordan.

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South Gate


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 entrances along the city walls. Along the way you can see how the Roman city, then as now, spilt over both sides of Wadi Jerash, with most of the residential area lying east of the wadi. The visitor centre is on the right before the gate; hire a guide here.

One square kilometre of the city is encased by the 3m-thick, 3.5km-long boundary walls. Don’t forget to look up as you pass under the South Gate: like Hadrian’s Arch, the columns bear elaborately carved acanthus-leaf decorations and would once have supported three wooden doors. Framed by the archway is the first hint of the splendour ahead – the columns of the forum start appearing in ever greater profusion as you walk towards them.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Jerash attractions

1. Lookout

0.06 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.

2. Temple of Zeus

0.06 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 …

3. Vaulted Gallery

0.06 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…

4. Upper Temple of Zeus

0.07 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…

5. Forum

0.07 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…

6. Museum


Before you finish exploring ancient Jerash, visit this compact museum and visitor centre just above the forum. It houses a small but worthwhile selection…

7. South Theatre

0.11 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…

8. Agora

0.16 MILES

On the western side of the cardo maximus is the agora, where people gathered for public meetings around the central fountain.