Travel tips you can trust
The classic Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics of this small town date back to the 5th to 7th centuries. One is world famous: The Madaba Map.
Originally, the map measured about 16 by 6 meters (62 by 20 feet). Over a million tiles were used. Today, only slightly over a quarter of the map remains, but what does is remarkable.
The chart's reach once stretched from Lebanon to the Nile Delta. Now, a large portion of the northern half is missing. Fortunately, the star section - a detailed rendering of Jerusalem - is intact.
What saved it
A different mosaic layer was laid over the map. This unwittingly preserved the map for future generations. The map remained hidden until rediscovered in 1896. The "new" layer was removed, exposing what was left of the map.
Other Madaba mosaics
You'll find them on the walls, floors, and/or ceilings in other local churches, as well as in the archaeological museum. St George's Church (where the Madaba map resides) also has a large number.
Easy day trip
This Hillman Wonder is only about 30 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of Amman, Jordan's capital.
Location in Jordan
Top 3 Jordan Wonders