This Roman Catholic Church is a site of immense significance for pilgrims coming to Jordan. The church’s prominence grew in December 1967 after the Vatican recognized it as belonging to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and insisted pilgrims to pay visit to this sacred shrine.
About St John the Baptist
A major religious figure in Christianity, St John is believed to have baptized Jesus. When he preached near the Jordan River, people came to hear him in large numbers. Afraid of his growing power with the people, Herod Antipas had him imprisoned. St. John criticized his incestuous marriage with Herodias- wife of his half-brother Philip. Furious with anger, Herodias had him beheaded.
The Church Entrance
Façade of the church built in his honor is made of ancient stones. Roman columns and Corinthian capitals adorn the entrance along with a beautiful mosaic, just above the front door. This mosaic depicts the saints severed head.
Acropolis Museum and the Bell Tower
Beneath the church is an Acropolis Museum which houses a replica of the severed head along with several other paintings and mosaics. Here, a Moabite well from 3000 years ago is still operational. With the highest vantage point in Madaba, Bell Tower of this church offers a panoramic view of the city.
Travelers and pilgrims can also see a collection of photographs taken during the period between 1902 and 1911 at the visitor center. A gift shop is located within the premises for you to take back some souvenirs.
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