Church of St Stephen


The ruined Church of St Stephen, protected by a large hangar, is one of four churches in the original village of Umm Ar Rasas. Inside, the magnificent mosaics date back to about AD 785. Even if you have mosaic fatigue after Madaba and Mt Nebo, try to muster one last flurry of enthusiasm for this well-preserved masterpiece.

There are depictions of hunting, fishing and agriculture; scenes of daily life (such as boys enjoying a boat ride, a man astride an ostrich); and the names of those who helped pay for the mosaic. A panel consisting of 10 cities in the region includes Umm Ar Rasas, Philadelphia (Amman), Madaba, Esbounta (Hesban), Belemounta (Ma’in), Areopolis (Ar Rabba) and Charac Moaba (Karak). A northern panel depicts Jerusalem, Nablus, Caesarea, Gaza and others.

There's a small visitor centre at the entrance to the site where you can buy cold drinks.

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