HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL CITY
IN JORDAN, MIDDLE EAST
Situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea in the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Nabatean city of Petra
is considered among the Seven Wonders of the World .
Around AD 663, an earthquake destroyed parts of Petra and choked water supply, leading to its abandonment. The city remained lost to the world until the Swiss explorer
Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, in the guise of an Arabic scholar, rediscovered it for the Western world.
In the description of the “universal outstanding value” of
this World Heritage Site, UNESCO describes the ancient city
as a “major caravan center for the incense of Arabia, the silks
of China and the spices of India, a crossroads between Arabia,
Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia.”
etra, world hidden within the mountains
of Jordan, was built several centuries ago.
This ancient “caravan city” was the capital
of the Nabataean Arabs, an ancient Semitic
race of people who inhabited Jordan.
They were mostly traders and agriculturists.
Tombs, caves, temples, monasteries, amphi-theatres,
gates, street facades, to cover sightseeing you need least a
two days to explore Petra.
The rock-cut architecture takes your breath away.
Animals, deities and mortals, mostly carved
in rock, greet you everywhere in this World Heritage
Site. The architecture is heavily influenced
by Assyrian, Egyptian, Hellenistic and Roman styles.
erhaps the most stereotyped image of Petra is
Al Khazneh or the Treasury. Entry is through
the Siq, a long narrow gorge, no more than
3 meters wide in some places, which gives
the impression that the mountain has parted
ways to allow you to enter it. Back in the day,
caravans made their grand entry to Petra
via the Siq.
The Treasury or Al Khazneh is one of Petra ’s most
recognizable monuments and one celebrated
in Hollywood classics such as Indiana Jones
and the Last Crusade. Tintin fans will also recognize
the monument for its appearance in the Red Sea Sharks.
The Street of Facades in Petra is lined
with rock-cut tombs in sandstone. Bodies were
interred in chambers carved on the rocks.
The Royal Tombs, much larger in scale,
and Urn Tombs lead to a single chamber, which
is believed to be an ancient Byzantine church.
In Petra a city of tombs and rock cut temples,
You can also come in contact with Bedouins here,
may stay in a cave, ride a horse up to the monastery, or watch craftsmen create sand art
in bottles. Per BBC, it is one of the places
a man should see in his life time.