Perched on a splendid hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, Umm Qais boasts impressive ancient remains. Such as the stunning black basalt theatre, the basilica and adjacent courtyard strewn with nicely carved black sarcophagi, the colonnaded main street and a side street lined with shops, an underground mausoleum, two baths, a nymphaeum, a city gate and the outlines of what was a massive hippodrome. It lies two hours away from Amman to the northwest.
Umm Qaiss town was known as Gadara, one of the first places in Jordan that were visited by Jesus Christ after he crossed the River Jordan. This city, famous for the biblical story of the Gadarene Swine, was regarded in its time as a cultural centre.