Mt Nebo is reputed to be where Moses stood when he saw the holy land after leaving Egypt. Hardly a mountain by most standards, it is still much taller then the flat planes all around it. A short walk through gardens, brings you to the summit where you can look out, as Moses did on the lands of Jordan and Israel. The view is impressive, in the distance sunlight plays on the surface of the dead sea and on a day clearer than when I was there you can see Jerusalem. There is always a crowd waiting to stand by the stones, but it is a well behaved and polite crowd taking their turns. Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.
The Brazen Serpent Statue
Of rust coloured iron, a statue of a snake twined up into a crucifix. The snake references the bronze serpent Moses created and the crucifix shape obviously references the later crucifixion of Christ.
Interestingly the statues also, deliberately or not calls back to an earlier religion and religious figure, Asclepius and his Rod.
Having been a site of religious significance for centuries there are a number of ruins, starting from the mid 4th century. Most of the ruins are the walls of the monastery and byzantine church.
Built to protect the incredible mosaics that were found in 1933, the church is not merely a building to keep the rain off, but a fully operational church with services run regularly. It was a strangely appropriate place to be on Christmas day.
The mosaics are remarkable and cover various periods of history. There area clear parallels to the mosaic in Madaba as well as the church floors in Philadelphia. That the effort and artistry has been preserved so well, in such a war torn area is wonderful.