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Umm Qais

Quick overview

We offer Jordan Umm Qais  Day Tour From Amman – Madaba  & The Dead Sea.

we recommend you Add Jerash or/and Ajloun Castle.

Start at 7:00 AM will help more to visit all these sites.

Umm Qais  -  Jordan - Jordan Day Tour & More
Umm Qais – Jordan

Jordan Umm Qais is located 110 km north of Amman.

28 km north of Irbid 

around 90 Minute Drive from Amman & 60 Minute From Jerash

Umm Qais or Qays, The Name Meaning (Mother of Qais’)

is a town in northern Jordan umm qais principally known for its proximity to the ruins of the ancient Gadara.
It is the largest city in the Bani Kinanah Department and Irbid Governorate in the extreme northwest of the country, near Jordan’s borders with Israel and Syria.
Today, the site is divided into three main areas: the archaeological site (Gadara), the traditional village (Jordan Umm Qais), and the modern town of Umm Qais.

visited umm qais
umm qais gadara
trade routes
herod the great

Winter (November through April)

8:00 am – 4:00 pm


8:00 am – 6:30 pm

April and May

8:00 am – 5:30 pm

The Holy month of Ramadan

8:00 am – 3:30 pm

5 JD (7.25 USD) Includes the museum entrance fees.

Umm Qais Entrance Fee included in 

Jordan Pass

Amman to Umm Qais around 90 Minutes.

Umm Qais to Jerash around 60 Minutes.

Umm Qais to Ajloun Castle around 60 Minutes.

Dead Sea to Umm Qais around 2 Hours

Madaba to Umm Qais around 2 Hours

The museum is located above the Acropolis of the ancient city of Gadara.
It Is a house that was built in the late Ottoman period in the 1860s.
The house belongs to the family of Faleh Falah al-Rousan.
It was named Beit al-Rousan (the House of Rousan) in honour of this family. The house is a traditional Arab house type consisting of a spacious central courtyard surrounded by a number of rooms and Diwans of various uses.
It was renovated and adapted as a museum in 1990.
In addition to the archaeological museum on the ground floor, one can enjoy the beautiful views that can be seen from the four sides of the 2nd floor.
Several mountains and cities (from Jordan, Palestine and Syria) can be viewed such as; Mount Tabur, Nazareth, Lake Tiberias, Golan Heights, Yarmouk Valley and Mount Sheikh & More.

After the Rusan family had left their property, the Jordanian architect Ammar Khammash developed the plans for the restoration and as authentic a reconstruction as possible, for which modern conversions and partitions were removed. Some extensions that were necessary for the use as a museum were added following the original architectural style. Work began in 1988/89, financed by various German sources and carried out by the German Evangelical Institute for Classical Studies of the Holy Land (DIE) in collaboration with Ammar Khammash and the German archaeologist Thomas M. Weber.


Umm Qais is located 28 km north of Irbid and 110 km north of Amman.
It expanded from the ruins of ancient Gadara, which are located on a ridge 378 metres (1,240 ft) above sea level, overlooking the Sea of Tiberias, the Golan Heights, and the Yarmouk River gorge.
Strategically central and located close to multiple water sources, Umm Qais has historically attracted a high level of interest.

Gadara was a centre of Greek culture in the region during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
The name Gadara may have meant “fortifications” or “the fortified city”.
In 63 BCE, Roman general Pompey conquered the region, Gadara was rebuilt and became a member of the semi-autonomous Roman Decapolis.
33 years later Augustus attached it to the Jewish kingdom of his ally, Herod.
After King Herod’s death in 4 BCE, Gadara became part of the Roman province of Syria.
After the Christianisation of the Eastern Roman Empire, Gadara retained its important regional status and became for many years the seat of a Christian bishop.
The oldest archaeological evidence at Umm Qais, some pottery shards found in Garada, extends back to the second half of the third century BC.

The Battle of Yarmouk in 636 a short distance from Gadara, brought the entire region under Arab-Muslim rule.
Around 747 the city was largely destroyed by an earthquake and was abandoned.

in 1596 it appeared in the Ottoman tax registers named as Mkis, situated in the nahiya (subdistrict) of Bani Kinana, part of the Sanjak of Hawran.
It had 21 households and 15 bachelors; all Muslim, in addition to 3 Christian households.
The villagers paid a fixed tax rate of 25% on agricultural products; including wheat, barley, summer crops, fruit trees, goats and bee hives.
The total tax was 8,500 akçe.
In 1838 Um Keis was reported to be in ruins.[10]
Umm Qais boasts an impressive building from the Late Ottoman period, the Ottoman governor’s residence known as Beit Rousan, “Rousan House”.

The ancient classical period city of Gadara, and a member city of the Decapolis(Greek Ten Cities), is one of Jordan’s most dramatic antiquities sites-both for the many substantial ruins of black basalt and white limestone, and for the city’s impressive setting overlooking the north Jordan Valley, the Sea of Galilee The extensive site has scores of standing and still buried monuments covering an area of several hectares.
These include rock-cut tombs with architectural ornaments, facades and Greek inscriptions.
two theatres, one of which is built of black basalt and has a marble sculpture of a goddess seated in the orchestra; a basilica and atrium-shaped courtyard on a semi-artificial terrace, partly restored by the Department of Antiquities and the German Protestant Institute; a street lined on one side with barrel-vaulted shops.
the foundations of the north mausoleum with adjacent traces of the ancient city fortifications; a well preserved underground Roman era mausoleum with an apsidal entrance hall and a crypto-portico; two excavated Byzantine baths complexes; the partly excavated monumental entrance gate to the city; traces of a possible stadium; and various other built structures that have not been excavated.
The late Ottoman village, built from re-used ancient cut stones, is virtually intact on the summit of the site, and some of its houses are being restored and preserved for future use.
History The name Gadara derives from a Semitic term meaning “fortification”, and it is likely that a pre-Hellenistic stronghold secured this stretch of the land route between southern Syria and the north Palestine coastal ports.
The change in the name Gadar/Gadara to Umm Qais in the Middle Ages(from mkes, early Arabic “frontier station”) probably reflects the settlement’s ancient role as a border post.
Gadara first appears in historical records shortly after the conquest of the region by the forces of Alexander the Great in 333 BC.
Alexander’s successors in Egypt, the Ptolemies, refounded Gadara as a military colony along the Yarmouk Valley frontier with their perennial rivals the Seleucids, Alexander’s successors who were based in Antioch, north Syria.
The Roman general Pompey conquered the region of southern Syria in 63BC.
and liberated Gadara and other Hellenistic towns in north Jordan from the grip of the Hasmoneans.
Josephus mentions that due to the damage the city suffered from the siege, Pompey rebuilt it to please Demetrius the Gadarene, one of his favourite freedmen and quite a notable personality in the annals of the late Roman Republic.
It was rumoured in Rome that Demetrius the Gadarene initiated and financed the monumental theatre that was built in Pompey’s honour on the Campus Martius in Rome in 61-54 BC.
After 63 BC, an autonomous Gadara minted its own coins and adopted a new calendar based on the Pompeian era. It was one of the leading cities of the Decapolis (the “ten cities” in Greek), a loose association of at least ten Greco-Roman cities in north Jordan and southern Syria, including Gerasa (modern Jerash), Pella (Tabaqat Fahl), Scythopolis (Beisan), Abila(Qweilbeh) and Philadelphia (Amman).
The Decapolis was a fountainhead of Hellenistic culture in the land of south Syria and north Jordan, and a loyal ally of Rome.
The cities shared common political, cultural, commercial and security interests and, for about 150 years, formed an effective check to expansion by the Nabataeans or the Hasmonaeans of Judaea.
The security which came with the Pax Romana (Roman peace) reinvigorated international trade and boosted the commercial and tax income which the Decapolis cities derived from it. With regional stability completely assured as of the late 1st Century AD, Gadara and the Decapolis entered into their Golden Age of municipal expansion, architectural splendour, economic growth and artistic and cultural vitality.


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