Petra is an ancient historical city located in Jordan in the Arab world. It is known for its unique architecture, with buildings that are carved from the rock of the mountains combining ancient Eastern tradition and Hellenistic architecture in their facades. The city is made in red sandstone, which has led to Petra’s nickname ‘Rose-Red City.’ It is also notable for its impressive irrigation system which helped the city to exist in the middle of a vast desert.
It is an archaeological site with the remains of temples, tombs, and the Umm al Amad copper mines, which date back to the fourth millennium BC, and an amphitheater created by sculpting in the hills. Some of the important sites in Petra are the Urn Tomb, Palace Tomb, and Corinthian Tomb, the Jebel Haroun (meaning Mountain of Aaron) where the Prophet Aaron (brother of Moses) is said to be entombed. The High Place of Sacrifice offers views of Petra from above.
The well-known Khazneh el Faroun (Treasury of the Pharaoh) is a 40-meter high facade cut into the mountain. It’s architecture features columns and ornate details, which is a feature exclusive to the Alexandrian world and Hellenistic tradition, rather than the Nabataean civilization seen elsewhere in Petra. The lost Nabataean civilization, which lasted in the region from the fourth century BC to the first century AD, also influenced the city’s formation along with several other civilizations throughout history.
The largest facade in Petra, Al-Dier Monastery can be reached by climbing 800 steps from the restaurants in the Petra basin. The funerary monuments also called the ‘Djin Blocks’ are located in the proximity of the Snake monument.
The city of Petra is part of Petra National Park, which includes monuments, cliffs, and gorges. Besides tombs, there are some neolithic sites in the region.
Location Of Petra
Located on Mount Hor, Petra is situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, at the crossroads between Arabia, Egypt, and Syria-Phoenicia. This strategic location made the city an important trade center for the caravan trade. Queen Alia International Airport is at a distance of approximately 211 kms. You can take a bus, minibus or taxi to visit Petra.
Where is Petra?
- In 2007, Petra was included in the list of New7Wonders of the World.
- It is also called ‘half as old as time,’ for its incredibly long history that dates back to at least 312 BC.
- Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt introduced Petra to the Western world in 1812.
- It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
- A survey conducted by UNESCO in 1994 showed a record of around 800 monuments in the city.
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Best Time To Visit Petra
December and January are cold and wet months in Petra, which prevents many of the hikes around the city, and the city sometimes floods at this time of year. Summer is very hot, as the city is located in the desert. Spring and autumn are probably the best season to visit this place.
The admission fee to Petra is approx. 90 JD (127 USD) for day visitors. Tourists who wish to stay overnight and take a cruise are charged approx. 50 JD (70 USD) for one day, 55 JD for two days or 60 JD for three days.
Nearby attractions: Wadi Rum and Mujib Nature Reserve.
Published On: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013