Petra - the main destination of
the Jordan trip.
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Although much has been written about Petra, nothing
really prepares us for this amazing place. It has to be seen to be believed.
Petra is without a doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure. It is a vast, unique
city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans more than 2000 years
ago. It once served as an important junction for the silk road.
The visit to Petra starts (optionally) on horseback,
followed by a walk through the Siq, a narrow fissure between two overhanging
cliffs with dazzling color and formations. We first passed by an ancient water
tunnel and Djinn Blocks, which are tower tombs probably representing the god
Dushara. Their history and dates are unknown.
As we reached the end of the Siq we caught our first
glimpse of the Al-Khazneh (Treasury).
This is an awe-inspiring experience. A massive fašade,
90 ft wide and 130 ft high, carved out of the sheer, red rock-face and dwarfing
everything around it.
There is incredible amount of detail carved into the
stone. There is even another level underground.
The Treasury is merely the first of the many wonders
that make up Petra. As we enter the Petra valley we were overwhelmed by the
natural beauty of this place with hundreds of elaborate rock-cut tombs with
intricate carvings. The ladders on the cliff are supposed to lead to the heaven.
The patterns on the stone look like abstract paintings. A massive Roman-style
theatre could seat 3,000 people.
We were exhausted after the long hike. It was so hot
even camel gets thirsty.
Urn Tomb - This is the only building that can be
compared with the Monastery or The Treasury.
Colonnaded Street - The main street of Petra is built
by the Romans 100-200 AD. It was lined with double row of columns and shops and
served as a commercial center and social place. View in the east direction, then
the west direction, which ends at the Hadrien Gate.
Petra Great Temple - The largest free standing building
in Petra. It was rediscovered by Brown University archaeologists in 1992 and
restoration continues to the present.
In the Lower Temenos, large, white, hexagonal pavers
were positioned above an extensive canalization system that drain water from the
The symbol of elephant must have certain significance
in their culture.
Partially restored columns in the Upper Temenos that
surround the theater and the sanctuary.
Qasr el-Bint, the temple of Dushares, has the largest
facade in Petra. Wooden courses embedded as layers inside the masonry
provide the elasticity of its walls to withstand earthquakes.
Blue Chapel on the North Ridge - The columns of the
chapel are fashioned of blue Egyptian granite, topped with Nabataean horned
capitals. The North Ridge churches are Byzantine (5th - 6th century), and have a
complex history with several distinct building phases.
A reference Petra map showing the spots covered in this
At a rest stop.
Taybet Zaman Hotel
Taybet Zaman Hotel is situated just 7 miles from Petra,
and enjoys breathtaking views of the Sharah Mountain Range.
The village of Taybeh found itself on the brink of extinction when its
inhabitants moved toward modernization. To save the village the local mayor led
an effort to convert the entire village into a hotel owned and run by the
locals, keeping the community and its heritage alive.