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An update from Evaneos

Mukawir (Jordan)

Practical information on Mukawir

  • Viewpoint
  • Archaeological Site
  • Castle and fortress
  • Place or Historical Monument
3 / 5 - One review
How to get there
A 45 minute drive from Madaba
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Mukawir

Camille Griffoulieres Seasoned Traveller
111 written opinions

Mukawir is a small village located on the King's Highway between Madaba and Kerak, famous for the fortress of Machaerus built in about 90 BC by the king of Judea Alexander Jannaeus.

My suggestion:
I would advise you to combine this visit with a stop at the hot springs of Hammamet Ma'in which are very close by.
My review

I loved the visit to the village of Mukawir because it took me back to biblical times, like many sites in Jordan, and that's an amazing feeling. You can picture yourself back at that time when you stand on this 700 metre high hill. It was here that the apostle Jean the Baptist is said to have been beheaded by Herod Antipas, who had promised his daughter Salome to give her what she wanted...which was the head of the unfortunate John. His head was brought to Salome on a plate...a charming biblical story depicted thousands of times by classical painters! It all happened here!

The fortress was destroyed by Pompey's general Gabinius in 57 BC and rebuilt by Herod the Great in the centre of a great palace. It was here that the Jewish rebels took refuge when they were fleeing the First Jewish Revolt in Jerusalem, when the city was sacked by the Romans. 

The site itself is in a poor state of conservation, the mosaic which used to be there has been transferred to Madaba Museum, but I loved the natural surroundings of the place. It's in the middle of pastures where shepherds tend their flocks. From the top of the hill there's is great view over the Dead Sea and, if the weather is fine, you can see Jerusalem too, so they say.

Ruins of the fortress of Machaerus