January 23, 2021
often, religious sites can become noisy and chaotic tourist traps, which kind
of defeats the purpose of a place that supposed to evoke meditative peace,
Bethany Beyond the Jordan, a peaceful holy
site, is a rare exception. A meditative place that is perfect for
contemplation, exploration, and learning, this place is a hidden gem in the
Read on for more information about the rich
history of Bethany Beyond the Jordan, and learn what it’s like to visit it
Experience the incredible
historical and archaeological value of this holy place.
Also known as Al-Maghtas, Bethany Beyond the
Jordan is a peaceful holy site north of the Dead Sea where John the Baptist is
said to have baptized Jesus. Beginning during the Byzantine era, faithful
Christians have worshipped here and conducted baptisms of their own. Even
today, it is not uncommon for Christians to hold baptisms at this site: Baptism
in the same place where Jesus was supposed to have been baptized is an
incomparable spiritual experience.
The second part of the holy site, Tell
Mar Elias, is located nearby. This is the hill from which the prophet
Elijah is said to have ascended to heaven, and here it is possible to explore
the archaeological site of a Byzantine monastery, as well as various chapels
and caves. Tell Mar Elias is marked by a church honoring Elijah.
Because of its religious and historical
value, Bethany Beyond the Jordan was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in
2015. The incredible archaeological ruins, ancient churches, and baptismal
pools that you’ll find here are testament to the significance of the site.
Make a meaningful religious
Bethany Beyond the Jordan is only an hour’s
drive from Amman, yet it somehow seems ages away from the chaotic bustle of the
city. The site is kept and maintained as a wilderness area, meaning that the
quiet peace that you’ll experience on the banks of the Jordan River makes it a
beautiful place to reflect and pray.
Surrounded by the pools in which early
Christians conducted baptisms and the calm, quiet caves in which monks and
hermits worshipped, it’s easy to appreciate the stunning spirituality of this
holy place. In visiting Al-Maghtas and Tell Mar Elias, you will experience
firsthand the religious authenticity of the amazing ruins that you’ll find here.
Organized tours and knowledgeable local guides are readily
available at Bethany Beyond the Jordan.
Although Bethany Beyond the Jordan is easy to
reach by bus or taxi, there are also numerous organized tours that you can take
to ensure that you get the most out of your experience.
For instance, this private tour includes
transportation and entrance fees, as well as the services of a local guide who
will show you around the baptismal site and the archaeological ruins. There is
even an option to visit nearby ancient caves as well.
Bethany Beyond the Jordan is only one of many
incredible religious biblical sites that you can experience during your time in
Jordan. To read more in-depth information on other holy sites in this country,
download our Guide to Religion and Faith!