May 10, 2016
Starting about 10:30AM we followed the Lonely Planet walking tour, an enjoyable way to explore Madaba and its ramshackle selection of sights. Even if you are not a biblical history fan or a mosaic enthusiast it is still worth the wander around town for a slice of Jordanian life in a mid-sized town.
While some of the mosaics have historical importance- such as the map of Palestine on the floor of St George’s Church – and are impressive for their age and condition, many are only remnants and much more faded than depicted in most photos.
It took us about 3 and half hours to see all the sights, the extra half hour was needed to decipher the skimpy directions given in LP. In the process we did learn that the locals are more than willing to point you in the right direction if you just ask.
Besides the map in the St George’s Church highlights along the walk included:
Archaeological Park I – ruins and mosaics from the 6th to 8th century AD.
Archaeological Park II (Burnt Palace) – 6th century AD former private residence
Madaba Museum – Mosaics and other artifacts housed in former residences
Shrine of the Beheading of John the Baptist – odd mix of church, archaeological site and museum
Church of the Apostles – impressive but very faded 6th century AD mosaic
Wandering the streets of Madaba