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On our first day in Jordan, after flying into Amman, we had called into Madaba to see St. George’s Church and the mosaic map featured on the church’s floor. It was a brief visit before we continued on down to Petra and Wadi Rum.  Now we were back and ready to spend some quality time exploring Madaba.

Orange = Madaba, Blue = Petra, Red = Wadi Rum

Our first stop was ‘The Shrine of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist’.  Before entering though, we visited the adjacent visitor’s centre. The floor featured a reproduction of the mosaic scene found in St. Stephen’s Church in Um ar Rasas, and the walls were covered in old photographs and interesting historical facts.

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I thought this was a magnificent photo of the residents of Madaba; circa 1905.  Don’t they look impressive?

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From the Visitor’s Centre, we continued on through to the Acropolis Museum.  We didn’t know there was a museum until we were actually there, and what a beauty it turned out to be!  The museum is carefully constructed upon ancient ruins that run around and under the church, displaying ancient artefacts and treasures with each twist and turn.

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Exquisite mosaics adorned the rooms and are highlighted with soft toned lamps.

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As we wandered through the tunnels, we came to a 3,000 year old well, that is still operational. It dates to the Moabite era; absolutely fascinating!

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The Shrine of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist.

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From the museum, we then entered the small, quaint church.

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Lastly, we decided to climb the old iron ladder and steps of the Bell Tower. (Yes, you are allowed to do this!)

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It proved be a tricky art of manoeuvring around the bells so as not to bump and ring them!

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Once at the top, we walked out on to a small balcony that offered panoramic views over Madaba.

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Visiting this church, visitor’s centre and museum, was very interesting and so worthwhile.  It is definitely a ‘must do’ if you are visiting Madaba.

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