Madaba: مادبا

Madaba is about 30 KM from Amman is best known as the City of Mosaics; thanks to the spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaic art. Madaba is the home of the famous 6th century Mosaic Map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. With two million pieces of vividly colored local stones depicting hills and valleys, villages and towns as far as the Nile Delta.

The Madaba Mosaic Map covers the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, which is located northwest of the city centre. The church was built in 1896 AD, over the remains of a much earlier 6th century Byzantine church. The mosaic panel enclosing the Map was originally around 15.6 X 6m, 94 sqm.

Also in Madaba you can find the Archaeological Park & Museum showcasing the remains of several Byzantine churches – including the mosaics of the Church of the Virgin and the Hyppolytus Hall.

Close to the Church of the Virgin is the Madaba Institute for Mosaic Art and Restoration, which operates under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism. The only project of its kind in the Middle East, the institute trains artisans in the art of making, repairing and restoring mosaics.