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Cave of the Seven Sleepers

ImageIn the year 250AD, Christians throughout the Roman empire were being persecuted.  According to legend, seven men were accused of accepting Christianity.  Rather than fighting the charges, they donated all their worldly possessions and retreated to a cave to pray.  The men fell asleep, and Roman authorities sealed the entrance.

Two hundred years later, long after Christianity became the official religion of Rome, a local landowner unsealed the cave.  The sleepers awoke, believing they had slept just a few hours.  One of the men went to the nearest town to buy food using coins that had long been out of circulation, drawing the attention of the townspeople.  They died praising God with the local bishop.  The story is a parable about persevering with God in the face of hardship.

The cave is a holy site for both Christianity and Islam, after it was told in the Quran.  The actual location of the cave is unknown.  The two sites associated with the legend are in Ephesus, Turkey, and Amman.  The grotto is accessible to tourists.  You can view the bones o the alleged sleepers through a peephole, and see artifacts discovered in the cave.  The site also has several interesting Roman and Byzantine ruins, as well as a mosque.

You can get to the Cave of the Seven Sleepers by bus or taxi.  Buses from Wahadat bus station towards Sabah pass by the site, and should cost less than 1JD.  Getting there by taxi is much more convenient, but will set you back about 5JD each way.  You shouldn't come here on your first day, but check it out if you're going to be in Amman for awhile.

Location: Near the village of Rajib, about 10km southeast of Amman
Hours: Open daily 08:00-18:00

More Places To Visit in Amman - Jordan


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