Monday, September 06, 2010

Jewels of Jordan: The Rose–Red City of Petra

Al–Khazneh (The Treasury), Petra. Al–Khazneh is a massive fa├žade, 30 m wide and 43 m high, carved out of the sheer, dusky pink, rock–face in the early 1st century as the tomb of an important Nabataean king and represents the engineering genius of these ancient people.




The Siq ('Shaft'), a natural sandstone gorge flanked on either side by soaring, 80m high cliffs, leading towards the ancient city of Petra for over 1 km until it opens on to the magnificent Al–Khazneh (The Treasury).

A carved stone wall. Obelisks, temples, sacrificial altars and colonnaded streets are aplenty in Petra.


The end of the Siq, with a view of Al–Khazneh (The Treasury).

Al–Khazneh (The Treasury)




Tomb 67 (200 BC – 200 AD). The upper doorway is decorated with a Hellenistic pediment.



Urn Tomb






The ancient city of Petra from afar

Petra Visitor Centre in Wadi Musa, the closest town to the historic site. The entrance fee for the locals is JD1 (RM5) and JD33 (RM165) for foreigners per day.

The ancient Nabataean city of Petra, which was carved into the rock more than 2,000 years ago, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

Obelisk Tomb and Bab el–Siq Triclinium (25–75 AD). The tomb is crowned with four elongated pyramids that represent nefesh, Nabatean signs commemorating the deceased. A triclinium is a funerary dining hall with benches carved along three of its sides. Here, banquets, where wine was served, were held in honour of a god or ancestor.

Took a horse ride to The Siq

The Siq ('Shaft'), a natural sandstone gorge flanked on either side by soaring high cliffs, leading towards the ancient city of Petra for over 1 km until it opens on to the magnificent Al–Khazneh (The Treasury).



Al–Khazneh (The Treasury). Al–Khazneh was used as the entrance of the temple housing the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

It takes a minimum of three days to cover the whole city of Petra on foot as motorised vehicles are not permitted to enter the site. You need a pair of good walking shoes, a hat, strong feet (lots of walking and climbing), and plenty of drinking water. The blazing sun gave me a pounding headache, and my arms became two skin tones darker after.

Tomb 67 (200 BC – 200 AD). The upper doorway is decorated with a Hellenistic pediment.

Donkey ride, anyone?


The Theatre of Petra could seat 3,000 people.




Urn Tomb

A view of the Rose–Red City from Urn Tomb





The wonders of Petra

Photos by SkyJuice. © All rights reserved.

What's Jordan most well known for? None other than the Rose–Red City of Petra, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, of course! I didn't travel over 7,000km and cross five time zones to miss this iconic ancient city.

Petra was the capital of the Nabataeans, Aramaic–speaking Semites, and the centre of their caravan trade. Inhabited since prehistoric times, this Nabataean caravan–city, situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, was an important crossroads for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.


The ancient Nabataean city of Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and was voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World on 7 July 2007. Petra was half–built, half–carved into the rock more than 2,000 years ago, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. It is one of the world's most famous archaeological sites, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture.


Petra is known as the Rose–Red City for the colour of the rocks in which Petra is carved. It takes a minimum of three days to cover the whole city on foot. Motorised vehicles are not permitted to enter the site. You can hire a horse or a horse–drawn carriage to take you through the 1km Siq, and hire a donkey or camel once inside the site.

This post marks the end of my maiden trip to the Middle East. It was an unforgettable, heartwarming trip for me. I would return in a heartbeat.


Source: www.visitjordan.com