Umm Qays is a spectacular destination, acombination of Ancient Graeco-Roman ruins intertwined with houses of an Ottoman village. Many of the structures of Umm Qays are built with black basalt stone, giving the city a grand and unique feel.
During the time of the New Testament, northern Jordan was the region of the Roman Decapolis (meaning ‘ten cities’ in Greek). Formerly the city of Gadara, Umm Qais overlooks the Sea of Galilee. This is the placewhere Jesus taught the people about the Kingdom of God and performed his miracles. The old Decapolis city of Gadara (modern-day Umm Qays) boasts spectacular panoramic views overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
Gadara became famous for being home to the famous miracle of the pigs performed by Jesus. As said in the Bible, after having crossed the Sea of Galilee, Jesus arrived at Gadara, finding a man possessed by a legion of demons who terrorized the city. Jesus ordered the demons to leave the body of the man and transfer themselves to the body of pigs that grazed on the hills. It was told there was about two thousand pigs there. After his command, the demons entered the pigs and then suddenly ran down the hills, at last drowning themselves in the sea, freeing the city and the possessed man from the subjection of the demons.
A rare five-aisled basilica from the 4th century was recently discovered and excavated at Umm Qays. From the interior church, one can spy a Roman-Byzantine tomb over which the church was built. Such a distinctive architectural arrangement strongly indicates that it was built to commemorate the very spot where the Byzantine faithful believed that Jesus performed his miracle. A visitor standing at the junction of Syria, Israel and Jordan can enjoy a stunning view of Lake Tiberius and The Golan Heights.