Visit Petra, Jordan (UNESCO site)
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Petra, Jordan is a city that is literally carved from rock. Known as the “Rose-Red City”, Petra takes its nickname from the hue of the rock of which its famous buildings and monuments were crafted by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people that inhabited this part of Jordan more than 2,000 years ago. Entry to Petra is through the Siq, a narrow gorge over 1 km in height, flanked on each side by soaring cliffs made of dazzling rock formations and hiding the entry to Al-Kahzneh, a massive façade carved from dusty pink sheer rock. The Al-Kahzneh was created as a tomb for a Nabataean King in the first century and is a perfect example of the engineering genius of the Nabataeans.
Once inside the Siq, visitors enter the Petra valley. There are no motorized vehicles allowed past the Siq, into the valley. Walking is the primary method of touring but horses and horse drawn carriages are available to hire for transportation if needed. The Petra valley is full of awe-inspiring examples (there are hundreds) of the Natabaean engineering feats. There is a Roman style theatre that can seat more than 3,000 people. Obelisks, temples and sacrificial altars abound along colonnaded streets. High above the valley is the Ad-Deir Monastery, reachable only by a climb up 800 steps carved from the stone. The Petra Archaeological Museum and the Petra Nabataean Museum are worthy of your visit providing wonderful insight into Petra and its glory days.
If your dream is to visit this Middle Eastern city famous for its prolific rock carvings and ancient history we suggest you start planning now. The rock formations are under constant attack from water, wind, weather and earthquakes. Conservation efforts are underway but the sheer magnitude of this incredible testament to man’s ingenuity makes preservation difficult and costly. Make sure you can cross a trip to Petra, Jordan to view the colossal rock carved structures off your list.
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