Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo is an 817m high mountain ridge located 10km NW of Madaba in Jordan. It is one of the most revered holy sites of Jordan as Moses was buried here. According to the Holy Scriptures, Moses spends his last days here viewing the Promised Land of Canaan.

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The Memorial of Moses at Mount Nebo
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Mount Nebo
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Areas surrounding the Mount

In 2000, Late Pope John Paul II visited Mount Nebo. He planted an olive near the Byzantine Chapel as a symbol of Peace. When I made my visit to Mount Nebo, it had become a strong 12 year old tree. The tree also stands as a symbol of Jordan-Vatican friendship.

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Monument to Late Pope John Paul II
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Olive tree planted by Pope John Paul II during his visit in 2000.

Standing on the platform erected for Pope John Paul II, I enjoyed the panoramic scene that Moses saw more than 3000 years ago. Luckily, the weather was so clear that I was able to see the Dead Sea and several cities on the West Bank of Jordan River. At sunrise even the streets can be visible. By sunset, one can also enjoy an amazing view as the sun sinks behind the mountains of Jerusalem. The enchanting view I saw from there is something I can never forget!

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View from Mount Nebo
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View from Mount Nebo

The Brazen Serpent Monument present here is an enigmatic serpentine cross created by the Italian artist Giovanni Fantoni. It imaginatively merges the life-saving bronze serpent set up by Moses into the desert and the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.

 

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The Brazen Serpent Monument

There is a basilica here with a stunning collection of Mosaic works of the Byzantine era. This church, expanded in the 5th and the 6th centuries, has little remains today which are well preserved. The mosaic flooring of it depicts monastic wine-making, hunters and various animals. It is about 9 meters by 3 meters. All remains have been incorporated into the structure of a modern church building, known as the Memorial Church of Moses. Six tombs were found underneath the mosaic floor in the 1930s during an excavation.

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The place is administered by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. Tourists could visit from 8am to 5pm. I made my visit before noon.

Mount Nebo is one of the most important tourist destination of Jordan and it is not only a religious site but also a fascinating historical and archaeological site worth visiting.

 

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