Looking for travel inspiration for your next vacation? Take a look at my series of reasons to visit Jordan. They will surprise, excite and make you want to go there. In this one: Baptism Site of Jesus Christ
Extremely close to the border between Jordan and the West Bank, near the Dead Sea, is the site that has in the last decade been acknowledged as the site where John the Baptist baptised Jesus. Over the centuries the site became lost as various conflicts swept through the region. After the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, the militarised and mined area was cleared and opened up to visitors and academics. Following hints in the Madaba Map (an ancient mosaic map on the floor of a Church in that town) that suggested the location of the site, archaeologists explored the stories and finally located it.
It is now a World Heritage site and been acknowledged as genuine by the Catholic Church, with the Pope having visited. There is a small pond where the baptism took place, and then visitors can pas by the gold-domed St. George Church opened in 2010 to visit the banks of the Jordan river to be baptised. The West Bank and Jordan are only a few metres apart here and visitors on both sides watch each other performing the activity.
It has become a major pilgrim site for religious groups. While I was there a group from the United Kingdom held a service and sung hymns after dipping in the river. Across on the other bank people donned white garments sold by the visitor centre to dip into the River Jordan.
You can read more about the site, including how it was validated as authentic at baptismsite.com
Based on my time in Jordan, there are ten things that I recommend you visit during the course of a one-week vacation. You can find out more on each by clicking on them to get more details, my thoughts and pictures:
- Ras El Ein Graffiti Amman.
- Roman Amphitheatre Amman.
- Citadel Amman.
- Little Petra.
- Wadi Rum Desert.
- Madaba Map.
- Baptism site of Jesus Christ.
- Aljoun Castle Fortress.
Disclaimer: I travelled as a guest of Jordan Tourism Board on an 8-night trip exploring Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerash, the Dead Sea and other popular destinations.