The giant red mountains and vast mausoleums of a lost time have little to do with our modern civilization, and they ask to be appreciated at their true value: as one of the greatest wonders ever wrought by Nature and Man.
Although much has been written about Petra, nothing really prepares you for this amazing place. Must be seen to be believed.
Often described as the eighth wonder of the ancient world, Petra is without doubt the most precious treasure of Jordan and its most important tourist attraction. It's a huge city completely carved into the rocks by the Nabateans, an Arab tribe hardworking who settled in the area over 2,000 years and the city became an important step linking the silk routes, those of the spices and other connecting China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.

The entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow canyon, a mile long, surrounded by cliffs that rise to 80 meters high. Simply walk through the Siq is an unforgettable experience. The colors and rock formations are dazzling. When you reach the end of the Siq catch your first glimpse the front called Al-Khazneh (Treasury).
It is an awesome experience. A massive façade, 30m wide and 43m high, carved into the rock face of pale pink and dwarfing everything around it. It was built in the first century as the tomb of an important Nabataean king and a sample of the engineering genius of this ancient people.

The Treasury is the first of the many wonders that are found in Petra. You need at least four or five days to explore the city thoroughly. As you enter the Petra valley you will be overwhelmed by the natural beauty of this place and its impressive architecture. There are hundreds of elaborate rock-cut tombs with intricate carvings, unlike the houses that were destroyed by the earthquake, were built to last for all eternity and 500 have survived, empty but bewitching as you file past their dark entries . There are also a theater built by the Nabataeans in Roman style, with capacity for 3,000 people. There are obelisks, temples, sacrificial altars and colonnaded streets, high up, overlooking the valley is the impressive Ad-Deir Monastery, a rise of 800 rock-cut steps leading up El.En inside the site also you can find two great museums, the Petra Archaeological Museum and the Petra Nabataean Museum. Both have a great background from excavations in the Petra region and provide a colorful overview of Petra stopped.
A thirteenth-century shrine, built by the Mamluk Sultan Al Nasir Mohammad to commemorate the death of Aaron, brother of Moses, can be seen today at the summit of Mount Aaron in the Sharah range.
On-site, several artisans from the town of Wadi Musa and a nearby Bedouin settlement set up small stalls selling local handicrafts such as pottery and Bedouin jewelery and bottles of colored sand in the area.

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Not allowed access to the area to motorized vehicles. If you do not want to walk, rent a horse or a horse-drawn carriage to tour the Siq, 1 mile long. For the elderly or disabled, the Visitor Center, located near the entrance to the Siq, grants a special permit (for an additional fee) for transfer to the inside Petra to visit the main attractions. Once inside the enclosure, you can rent a donkey or, if you search a little adventure, a camel. Both options include the support of a caregiver and travel routes of the site.

Petra was established around the sixth century BC, Nabataean Arabs, a nomadic tribe who settled in the area and laid the beginnings of a commercial empire that reached Syria.

Despite successive attempts by the Seleucid king Antigonus, the Roman emperor Pompey and Herod the Great to take to their respective empires, Petra, the Nabatean city remained in power until about the year 100 AD when the Romans took it . Remained inhabited during the Byzantine period, when the Roman Empire established its interest in the East, in Constantinople, but then, its importance declined. The Crusaders built a fort here in the twelfth century, but soon withdrew, leaving Petra under the control of the local population until the nineteenth century, when the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812 returned to discover it.
Jordan Tourist Office


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