very old town, Bosra became one of the leading Nabatean cities at the 1st
century, before becoming the capital of the Province of Arabia of the
Roman conquerors (106AD). As a crossroads on the caravan routes and
residence of the Imperial Legate, the city flourished and many fine
buildings were erected. As the seat of an archbishop, Bosra played an
important role in the history of early Christianity as well as having
links with the beginnings of Islam.
According to tradition, a certain Mohammed Ben Abdullah occasionally passed
through Bosra. He would take time to consult with a revered Christian
monk on theological matters. The monk, it is said, prophesied the future
of Mohammed. Thus Bosra chronicles its connection to the founder of Islam.
The city retained its prominence as a stopping point on the Hajj route
to Mecca up until the Ottomans moved the route further to the west.
The major point of interest of Bosra Al-Cham, as the town is presently
known, is an Arab fortress that encloses one of the best preserved Roman
amphitheaters. Built around the end of the 2nd century AD, it seats up to
15,000 spectators with perfect acoustics. Also dating from the late 2nd
century are palatial Roman baths recently excavated, approximately 50
meters to the East.
It is recommended to also visit the Nabatean and Roman gates, the cryptoportic,
the Buhaira's church and the Omari mosque.