Fodor's Expert Review Hisham's Palace

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Known as Khirbet al-Mafjar in Arabic, this restored palace has exquisite stonework and a spectacular mosaic floor. Hisham was a scion of the Umayyad Islamic dynasty, which built the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Although the palace was severely damaged by the great earthquake of 749 AD, the surviving mosaics and stone and plaster reliefs attest to its splendor. A huge canopy, added as part of a Japanese-funded restoration effort, provides shade as you tread on catwalks above the stonework, including the renowned "Tree of Life" mosaic. Fragments of ornate stucco reliefs are still visible on some of the walls. The site is about 4 km (2.5 miles) north of central Jericho, and the restaurant just beside it serves tasty Palestinian salads and meats, along with fresh juices and coffee.

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Hisham's Palace Rd.


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