In Umm Qays (known in biblical times as Gadara), the main sights are the remains of the Roman city, with its Western Theatre, colonnaded street, mausoleum and baths.
In Pella there are many interesting archaeological monuments, many of them still under excavation. Important are the 6th century West Church, 6th century Civic Complex Church, 1st century Odeon (Theatre), Roman Nymphaeum and East Church.
Irbid Archaeological Museum
The Irbid Archaeological Museum was established in the early sixties, along with the Irbid Antiquities Office. It was originally composed of one exhibition hall on the slope of Tell Irbid. Due to the vast increase in the numbers of archaeological artefacts from the excavations in the Irbid District, the museum was moved to a new building, in the southern part of the city, in 1984.
The collections of the museum are composed of various artefacts from the excavations of the Department of Antiquities and the international archaeological mission, ranging in date from the Paleolithic up to the Islamic periods. Presently, the area of the museum is again too small for the display of the finds from the northern sector of the country. The Department of Antiquities is aiming at renovating the Ottoman Seray at Irbid (known as the “old prison”) and converting it into the museum of the future. This building, on Tell Irbid, is one of the oldest buildings in the city. After renovation it will house an archaeological museum, an ethnographic exhibition, an archaeological library, laboratories and store, in addition to the headquarters of the Irbid Antiquities office.
Tel: + 962 2 7275817
Umm Qays Archaeological Museum
The museum, which is located in one of the houses in the Ottoman village of Umm Qays, composed of two exhibition halls. In the first hall, various ceramics dating from the Hellenistic up to the Islamic periods are on display, along with finds from the tombs at Umm Qays.
The second hall is dedicated to statuary, mostly from the Roman period. Into the large courtyard, basalt sarcophagi, column capitals and bases, two basalt gates, mosaics and the famous seated Tyche were moved from the site.
Umm Qays (Gadara) was one of the cities of the Decapolis, planned with a Roman city layout. The Ottoman village on top of part of the ancient city was acquired by the Department of Antiquities who now has several excavation and conservation projects at the site, including the restoration of the main (west) theatre.
The location of Umm Qays is particularly significant. Visitors to the site can view the Syrian Golan Heights, Mount Hermon, Lake Tiberias and the north Palestinian plains.
Location: Located in Beit Al-Russan (House of Al-Russan)
Dar As-Saraya Museum
The building of the museum, Dar As-Saraya, was originally a castle built by the Ottomans on the southern side of the hill in the middle of the 19th century. Its plan resembles castles and caravansaries founded by the Ottomans.
An inscription above the southern gateway is dated with the year 1304 H. (1886 AD) implying that the castle became the new Governor's House (Dar As-Saraya) after that date. With time the structure experienced many changes, prior to restoration works initiated by the Department of Antiquities in 1994.
Tel: + 962 2 7245613