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Mt. Nebo, Jordan

Perched at 2,330 ft. atop a ridge in the Abarim mountain range in western Jordan, Mt. Nebo affords a spectacularly unobstructed view of the desert below. The Bible says this is where Moses died, having seen The Promised Land. On a clear day, it's possible to see the Dead Sea, Jericho and even Jerusalem.

According to the Bible, Moses ascended the range. All I could think of on the day we were there was that I hoped he had a good donkey! Yes, it's possible to hike up the mountain and the views along the way must be wonderful, but today most pilgrims and tourists arrive in cars and buses.

As you walk up the path to the summit, you pass a large stone sculpture, Monolith of the 2000 Jubilee, created in honor of Pope Paul II's visit. The inscription, from Ephesians 4:6 is translated as "One God and Father of all, who is above all."

As you reach the summit, the modern looking Basilica of Moses greets you. This basilica sits on the site of an ancient church built between the 4th and 6th centuries to commemorate the death of Moses.

These beautiful mosaic floors from the ancient church were discovered in the first half of the 20th century. Many of them depict animals and nature scenes.

This cross-shaped baptismal font was also discovered.

Below is a simple mosaic floor that covered the more ornate ancient one. It's now hanging on the wall in the church.

There was a group listening to the priest when we were there. The stained glass was beautiful.

Pope Paul II had this olive tree planted during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2000.

This bronze cross was created by Italian artist Giovanni Fantoni. It symbolizes the serpent that God told Moses to create to save the lives of those who had been bitten by poisonous snakes.

Photo credit: @corradiniphoto

Our son-in-law David is enjoying the expansive view.

Photo credit: @corradiniphoto

You can make out the Dead Sea in the distance behind Paul and Katie in the photo below.

Photo Credit: @corradiniphoto

Top Tips

  • Mt. Nebo is a 45-minute drive from Amman and only about 6 miles from Madaba, See also our post about the Madaba mosaics.

  • The cost to visit is 2 JD and it is not covered by the Jordan Pass.

  • There is a café at Mt. Nebo for snacks and drinks.

  • Wear a hat. When we went in September is was hot and sunny.

  • Be sure to spend time in the basilica and enjoy the beautiful ancient mosaics.

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