Umm ar-Rasas

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Jordan only has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and Umm er-Rasas is one of them. Although not as visually impressive or intact as somewhere like Petra, the historic significance of the place is substantial. It was a major Byzantine and Ummayad settlement, straddling the change from Christian / Western domination to Arab rule. There are the remains of several churches, and the Church of St Stephen has an amazing mosaic floor. There is also a tall, square tower which is one of the most complete examples of a stylite column. Stylites were Christian ascetics who spent large portions of their lives atop columns or towers for isolation and to remove themselves from society.

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