Studium Theologicum Salesianum
Salesian Pontifical University : Faculty of Theology - Jerusalem Campus

from Amman Citadel to Mukawir (Day 2)


30 March 2016, Amman, Jordan

By Richard M. Mulenga, M.Afr

In a friendly atmosphere, on the early morning of the 30th March 2016 during our study trip in Jordan, we visited the Citadel of Amman. Our guide gave a rich description about the citadel, the city of many residential units, which were mostly set aside for use by those engaged in the government. What was remarkable about the citadel was that the citadel was believed to have been one of the most important cities during the Roman period. Its particularity is the three religious symbols i.e. The Roman Temple, The Byzantine Church and The Mosque. According to our guide, the remains of theByzantine Church dates back between the 6th and 7th century (550AD). The Dome or D1 (Mosque) dating between the 7th and 8th century (730AD) was built during the period of the Umayyad and is part of an example of the Islamic city of that time. It was rebuilt by the Spanish archaeologists to its present state. We had an opportunity to visit the Jordan Archaeological museum which contains objects and remains of different periods in history such as stone tools from the Stone Age period.

Subsequently, we went to the baptismal site on the Jordanian side. There we read three important Biblical events; the crossing of the Jordan River by the Israelites (Joshua 3:1-17), the whirlwind: Elisha succeeds Elijah (2Kings 2:1-18), and the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ (Mt 3:13-17). Besides that, we read some writings of some of the early pilgrims which affirm the site to be the baptismal site of our Lord Jesus.
After visiting and reading the scripture passages, we left for Mount Nebo, the mountain believed to be the place where Moses was shown the Promised Land by God. We had our Eucharistic celebration, prayerfully lead with angelic singing. From the top of the mountain, one could see the city of Jericho, the Jordan River, Dead Sea and many other places.

Upon finishing our visit on Mount Nebo, we went to Madaba where the map of the Middle East was discovered by a scholar from Jerusalem in 1897. This map is said to have helped in locating some religious places in the Holy Land since, dating back to the 6th sixth century, it is the oldest map of the Holy Land ever found.

We ended our day by visiting the Ancient Fortress of Machaerus, the place where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded by Herod Antipas (Mark 6:14-16).




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