The trip south from Amman along the 5,000-year-old King's Highway is one of the most memorable journeys in the Holy Land, passing through a string of ancient sites.
Madaba is a medium-sized city in Jordan, located 25km southwest of Amman. Madaba has become known as the "City of the Mosaics" for the many Byzantine mosaics that have been uncovered throughout the city. The most famous of these is the Madaba Map, a 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land, preserved in the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George.
With two million pieces of coloured stone, and a full 25 x 5 meters in its original state - most of which can still be seen today - the map depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns, as far away as the Nile Delta. This masterpiece is unrivalled in Jordan, but there are literally dozens of other mosaics from the 5th through the 7th centuries, scattered throughout Madaba's churches and homes.
Mount Nebo is a 1,000m (3,300ft) high mountain located 10km/6 mi NW of Madaba in Jordan, opposite the northern end of the Dead Sea. According to ancient tradition, this is the mountain from which Moses saw the Promised Land before he died. Because of its connection to Moses, Mt. Nebo has long been an important place of Christian pilgrimage and most revered holy sites of Jordan. Pope John Paul II visited this site in March 2000 before starting his spiritual pilgrimage to the Holy Land with prayers in the basilica.
Mount Nebo, with the memorial of Moses at the presumed site of the prophet's death and burial place. A small, square church was built on the spot by early Byzantine Christians, and later expanded into a vast complex. Sixty years of excavation reveal a church and a large cluster of monastic buildings. From a platform in front of the church you take in a breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to the rooftops of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.