Monday, April 11, 2011

Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George - Madaba, Jordan

On our last day in Jordan, we spent the day at the sleepy town of Madaba. Located (GPS coordinates, Wikipedia): 31°43′3.54″N 35°47′39.12″E

Madaba, with its population of 60,000 people (Making it the 5th most populous town in the country of Jordan) is located about 30km south-west of Amman. Our first stop when we arrived here was the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George, easy to find on the GPS, and the entrance fee is 1 JD (Or roughly RM$5) per person. Well worth a visit!

The Madaba Map (also known as the Madaba Mosaic Map) is part of a floor mosaic in the early Byzantine church of Saint George at Madaba, Jordan. The Madaba Map is the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem. It dates to the 6th century AD.

The Madaba Mosaic Map depicts Jerusalem with the Nea Church, which was dedicated on the 20th of November, 542 AD. Buildings erected in Jerusalem after 570 AD are absent from the depiction, thus limiting the date range of its creation to the period between 542 and 570 AD. The mosaic was made by unknown artists, probably for the Christian community of Madaba, which was the seat of a bishop at that time.

The Map of Madaba mosaic was discovered in 1896 and the findings were published a year later. This discovery drew the attention of scholars worldwide. It also positively influenced the inhabitants, who shared the contagious passion of F. Giuseppe Manfredi, to whom the rediscovery of most of the city's mosaics are owed. Madaba became known as the "City of Mosaics" in Jordan.

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