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In 1902, Don Giuseppe Manfredi, the parish priest of the Latin community, discovered this church southeast of the historic center of Madaba, next to the Kings Highway. A mosaic inscription (later destroyed) indicated the name of the church and 578 as the year of the completion.
Manfredi also found the famous medallion with a personification of the Sea in the center of the nave. Its inscription gives the name of the mosaicist: “O Lord God who has made the heavens and the earth, give life to Anastasius, to Thomas and Theodora. [This is the work] of Salaman the mosaicist.” Systematic excavations were conducted at the church by the German Evangelical Institute in 1967.
The mosaic floor of the Church of the Apostles is well preserved and was not disfigured by iconoclasts. It is one of the most beautiful and interesting mosaics in Madaba. More information in our photo tour.
Church of the Apostles
Rocks Ben Zayd Al Uzayzy Street,
on the corner of Kings Highway
Summer 8 am - 6:30 pm
Nov - April 8 am - 4 pm
April and May 8 am - 5:30 pm
Ramadan 8 am - 3:30 pm
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Compilation of information, editing, translations, and all photos: Universes in Universe
From Medieval Greek = icon / to break
Rejection or destruction of religious images or sacred objects.
During the Byzantine Empire the use of religious images or icons was opposed by religious and imperial authorities within the Eastern Church. A widespread destruction of images and persecution of image veneration supporters took place. The first phase lasted from 730-787.
In Jordan, human and animal images were deliberately destroyed in the mosaics of a considerable number of Byzantine churches. This occurred not because the images were venerated, but rather because of the objection to any depiction of living beings.
The area of modern Jordan, previously part of the Byzantine Empire, became integrated into the Umayyad Empire (the first Muslim dynasty) in the early 7th century. For this reason some attribute the iconoclastic activities to an edict issued by the Umayyad caliph Yazid II (720-724). But its authenticity is questioned, and it is not mentioned in any early Arabic sources.
Often destruction and repair were done simultaneously: the plucked out tesserae were carefully reinserted as pixelated blurs, which indicates a procedure done by the local Christian communities themselves. Therefore, it is likely that the defacement of living beings was a consequence of the socio-religious environment of those communities, and the continued polemics, and persistent criticism from different groups (incl. Muslims, Jews and Christian groups) during that time.