Irbid Jordan

Jordan's second largest city is a bustling community with an important university. Though not a major city for sightseeing, Irbid houses popular museums, and forms a good base from which to explore the northern Jordan Valley or to start a trip to Syria.

Irbid is located about 70 km north of Amman on the northern ridge of the Gilead. Before Islam the city was known as Arabella and famous for producing some of the best wines in the ancient world. The area in the region had extremely fertile soil, with the moderate climate allowing the growing of high quality grapes. After the introduction of Islam, the city became known as Irbid, and moved from wine to olive oil production.

Irbid is close to the site of the Battle of Yarmouk, a decisive battle across the banks of the Yarmouk River, roughly 30 kilometres north of the city. The battle was waged between the Islamic Caliphate led by Umar and the Byzantine Empire. It set the stage for the departure of Byzantine armies from Greater Syria and the beginning of the expansion of the Islamic Caliphate.

Nowadays Irbid is home to several colleges and universities, like the Jordan University of Science and Technology and Yarmouk University. Worth visiting are the Museum of Jordanian Heritage, interpreting the history and society of Jordan, and the Jordan Natural History Museum, both on the campus of Yarmouk University, as well as the Dar As-Saraya Museum housed in an Ottoman building from the 19th century.



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