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THE CITY OF MOSAICS
Madaba the “City of Mosaics” is renowned for its magnificent collection of lavish Byzantine mosaics found in its churches and homes. The most famous and significant of all the city’s treasures is one of the oldest maps of ancient Palestine, the 6th century AD mosaic map which covers the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, depicting the major biblical sites from Egypt to Palestine. The extraordinary map offers a historical insight into the surrounding region and was depicted in the past for the benefit of the pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. The River Nile, Mount Sinai, the Dead Sea, the Jordan River and Lake Tiberias are easily identified on this map, in addition to many cities such as Gaza, Bethlehem and the detailed Holy City of Jerusalem where one can still clearly make out the city walls, gates, the main street (cardo) and the domed Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Not to be missed is the Church of the Apostles, with its beautifully decorated mosaic floors depicting native birds, flowers, animals and a large central medallion, known as the female Personification of the Sea, surrounded by fish and marine creatures.
The City of Mosaics has an interesting Archaeological Park which houses a rich collection of ruins and mosaics from the area, and a Folklore Museum housed at the Madaba Museum, which displays a collection of ancient artifacts, pottery, jewellery and traditional costumes.