Day 18: Trip to Madaba, Mount Nebo, Dead Sea and Bethany-Beyond-Jordan (2)
Mount Nebo Travel Blog› entry 32 of 54 › view all entries
Next stop was Mount Nebo. This is the place where, according to legend, Moses died at the age of 120, after God showed him the promised land. For long it has been disputed whether or not this was truly the place where Moses had died (historical evidence is somewhat vague on most biblical figures) but in the Byzantine era it was believed this was the spot, and no less than five churches had been erected at this spot (one of them has been fully restored).
In 2000 Pope John Paul II has officially declared this place as sacred, so now Mt Nebo can officially call itself the spot where Moses looked over the promised land.
Oddly enough the sign at the entrance of this pilgrim site says it is an important place for Christians, but last time I read the bible Moses was pretty much the saviour of the Jewish people.
The other visitors to the place were all very clearly Christian or Muslim and it was with mixed feelings that we looked at the several people standing on the ledge, raising their hands towards the heavens and shouting all kinds of messages towards the Promised Land.
But even for an atheist Mount Nebo is an impressive place. If the weather is right you can see most of occupied Palestine, with the cities Jerusalem and Jericho clearly visible. Unfortunately we didn't have such weather, so we didn't get to see much of the Promised land. All we could see if the shore of the Dead Sea, 15 kilometres away, but Jerusalem, located at 60 kilometres was not visible because it was so hazy. I do hope Moses had better weather than we did, otherwise it would have been quite a disappointment on his deathbed.