I am Anthony E. Savvides. This is my blog.

Reflections & adventures of a writer at heart, a journalist by trade and a waiter by night.

Madaba and Mount Nebo pitstops en route to the Dead Sea

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This morning, we left from Amman and ventured west toward the Dead Sea.

A view of a mosque at the end of a busy street in Madaba.

On the way, we stopped in Madaba, an old city where the roads were filled with mosaic shops.

A storefront in Madaba, where beautiful icons and crosses were sold.

The entrance to St. George, a church from the 5th century in Madaba.

I entered the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George, which houses the oldest mosaic map of the Holy Land.  It was incredible to see this old house of worship.  The artwork and icons that covered the walls were beautiful.

The mosaic sign next to the main doors of Agios Georgios (Saint George) church.

I spoke to the daughter of the gift shop owners, Christine.  She told me that a monk named Solomon built the church in the 5th century.  A strong earthquake destroyed the church in the 7th century, but the map of the Holy Land survived.  A new church was built around this map later that century, and that is what has survived to this day.  I felt very deeply spiritual standing in this ancient church.  Here are some images from the church:

    

    

                

The mosaics are so intricately crafted that from afar I would have never guessed they were made of small glass pieces.  Up close, their beauty can be fully realized.

After we left Madaba, we stopped at Mount Nebo, where it is said the Moses was buried, though there is no proof.  The view from this peak, where Moses overlooked the Holy Land, was grand.  Some pictures from Mount Nebo:

           Atop the mountain, there was a museum of sorts under a tent where the mosaic floor was vast.  A few feet away from the tent stood a museum with other artifacts, including carved stone structures and vases.

              

I also saw an old stone, the Abu Badd, that was used as a fortified doorway for an old Byzantine monastery.

  

Along the path, there were also some turkeys running around.

From Mount Nebo, we were on the road to the Dead Sea… 

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Written by AESavvides

June 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm

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