Mount Nebo, Jordan: Final Resting Place of Moses

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Posted 2022-10-30 by Gail Clifford MDfollow

On your journey to Jordan's south, stop at Mount Nebo. Sixty years of excavation on the hilltop of Mount Nebo, where Moses viewed the Holy Land and is said to be buried, revealed a basilica church with one of the most magnificent mosaic floors in the world.

Located 10 km west of Madaba and the Mosaic Map , Mount Nebo contains spectacular views of the Dead Sea , the Jordan Valley, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. This mountain is considered one of Jordan's sacred sites, with biblical texts noting that Moses viewed the Land Of Canaan from the highest mountain, Mount Nebo, found in Deuteronomy 32.

Walking from the parking lot, examine the totem pole-like stone structure with Elijah, Moses, and Jesus carved into the stone. These prophets form the basis of most modern religions.

Turn up to the right and view the stone commemorating Moses' life and death. You'll circle the panorama view over the Jordan Valley, where Moses would have stood to look to the Promised Land where his followers could settle.

Based on the crowds, decide whether you want to check out indoors or outdoors first.

The Nebo complex, archaeological sites that have been a site of Christian pilgrimage since the late 4th century A,D. were re-discovered in 1864. Led by the Franciscans since 1933, Mount Nebo or "Siyaghah" (Arabic name) includes churches, graveyards, a monastery, and beautiful floor mosaics.

From the platform outside in front of the church, view the awe-inspiring view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to the rooftops of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. See what Moses saw.

"The bronze Serpentine cross wrapped outside of the church was designed by Italian artist Giovanni Fantoni and placed peering out over the Jordan Valley. It serves as both a symbol for the snake of Moses in the wild and the cross upon which Christ was crucified. Today, the Mount Nebo churches used by worshippers to pray on several occasions such as Christmas. In 2000, Pope John Paul II visited Mount Nebo as part of his pilgrimage to the Holy Lands, subsequently declaring it an official Christian site for pilgrimage." – sign on site

Pope John Paul II planted an olive tree, which you can see today. After 22 years, it may be smaller than you'd expect.

Explore the remains of the area's old buildings before or after the main church at the top of the hill. These remains were only discovered in 1933. It appears to have been a building for a Chapel established by early Christians in the second half of the 4th century AD in honor of the Prophet Moses. You can still see the main elements of the church, including a mosaic panel of a cross, vertically fastened to the South end of the church's altar.

The church itself was expanded in the 5th century AD. According to the museum documents, it was damaged by a major earthquake and rebuilt again in the year 597 A.D. Knowing more is likely to be discovered as archeology technology develops further adds to the excitement of potential finds.

Part of the monastery had been built over the foundations of a church built on that spot. Excavations uncovered six graves lying beneath natural rock below the church. We're told that the church has some of the finest Byzantine-era mosaics. One mural in a North hall room, discovered in 1976, depicts scenes of the clergymen on hunting trips. According to inscriptions, the painting was completed in 531 A.D.

In the side buildings, artisans work under the watchful eye of a Franciscan friar.

And a museum-quality viewing room explains the space, inside and out, from artifacts to models, and ancient implements.

During your tour of Jordan, Mount Nebo is a Must Stop, Unmissable Place to Visit. If you've included religious sites on your itinerary (and who wouldn't), you'll be pleased with the views from the mountain and the information you learn within the church and grounds.

83172 - 2023-06-11 06:38:39


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