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“Exotic and special” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa'a)

Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa'a)
Madaba, Jordan
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Ranked #2 of 11 Attractions in Madaba
Type: Ancient Ruins, Cultural
Attraction details
Binghamton, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Exotic and special”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

It is special for its archeological value, World famous mosiac and a unique example of an ancient Christian ascetic practice: nead by the main site, there is a stylite column still standing. Not easy to get too, but totaly worthy the experience. Beware, toilet on site does not have any running water :( Thus, perhpas it should not be called Water closed or washroom. :)

Visited November 2011
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71 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Sutton, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A Great Jigsaw Puzzle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

This site is very much a work in progress for the visitor. Apart from the Church of St Stephen, which is wonderful the rest of the sight is a jumble of confusing ruins. We thoroughly enjoyed the adventure of working out what we were seeing and if you can allow a few hours here as we felt rushed and would have liked more time.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Huge well-preserved church mosaics, plus a fully restored stylite tower!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

If travelling on the King's Highway and are close to Madaba, it's worth making the 10' detour (by car/taxi) to see this amazing site (UNESCO). A complex of ruined churches with some walls and apses still standing (you can stroll around, it's very atmospheric), and an incredible floor mosaic in one of the churches (St. Stephen's, 8th century AD), which is protected by a hangar. A suspended transparent walkway takes you around and over the mosaic and offers panoramic views as well as closeups. Also, 1 km away from the site and visible from it is a rather unique architectural structure: a fully restored stylite tower! This is something that probably only exists here: A high (15m), very narrow stone tower, which looks more like a lone pillar standing in the open space, with an opening at ground level and small windows at the top, and lots of chirrupy birds flying to and fro (you can't go up, there's no staircase). It was probably inhabited by stylites, Christian hermits who spent their lives on top of such towers. Most interestingly, you can see this tower featured on one of the mosaics in St. Stephen's church (the depiction of Kastron Mefaa - you'd have to look out for it while inside the church and then go outside and see the real thing). The site's visitor centre is very decent, it is low-rising and does not distract.

Visited April 2012
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London
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
“Worth stopping to look!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

Sadly, this World Heritage site is often overlooked by tourists as the site is poorly presented and the labelling is appalling. There was no one there when I went which made it lovely as you can spend as much time as you like on each site. It was actually more fun to walk around the vast site and to look at the various archaeological and architectural aspects of the different eras as the mosaics are disappointingly barely discernible underneath the sand and dust. Beware there is no water in the newly built toilets!

Visited May 2012
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Brighton
Top Contributor
205 reviews 205 reviews
97 attraction reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Beautiful mosaics you'll probably see by yourself!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

This is a really nice stop off on your way up or down the Kings Highway. There was no one else there which meant we could take our time and it was lovely and quiet. Our tip would be that the ruins whilst interesting, the highlight is the mosaics. There is a really ugly white hanger to the left of the site (with the visitors centre behind you). The mosaics are in there. Don't miss them - they are really very good and intact, with really good colour. We saw a lot of mosaics in Jordan but these really are some of the best.

Visited June 2012
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