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City of Petra

Petra (Arabic. البتراء read “al-Batra”) is an ancient city located in the South — West of Jordan, the former capital of Idumea, and later of the Nabataean Kingdom. It is located at an altitude of more than 900 m above sea level in the narrow Sik canyon. The capital of Jordan, Amman, is 236 km away.

The ancient city of Petra belongs to the new wonders of the world, and is also included in the UNESCO world heritage list. Millions of tourists come here to see the rock city with their own eyes. The spectacle is really impressive, since it is impossible to believe that this was created several millennia ago.

Petra-history of the city
The history of the city of Petra in Jordan began in the XVIII Century. when the Idumeans were the masters here (XVIII-II centuries BC), they laid the Foundation for many structures. Then there were the Nabataeans (II century BC-106 ad), then the Romans, Byzantines, and Arabs. And in the XII century ad, the city belonged to the crusaders.

Who built Petra and why
The name of the city of Petra is translated from Greek as “rock”, and it is not surprising — after all, the entire ancient city consists entirely of stone. And it is also called the “pink” city, since at sunrise and sunset the rocks really cast a scarlet and pink hue.

The rock city of Petra was created due to the fact that the Nabataeans-nomadic Arabs-were able to control the flow of water, which was important for the area. When there were torrential floods, people used cisterns and aqueducts – this allowed not only to survive the drought, but also gave income from the sale of water to travelers.

At that time the great city of Petra had a very favorable location, being at the crossroads of the strategically important trade routes. One of them connected the Persian Gulf and Gaza, and the other-the Red sea and Damascus. Caravans loaded with spices endured the drought of the Arabian desert for weeks. And then they were waiting for a secluded canyon Sik, which led to Petra.

city of Petra

For several hundred years, the spice trade brought the city a huge income. But after the Romans opened sea routes to the East, land caravans gradually lost their meaning in their existence and Petra became a lost city, wrapped in sand.

It is not known whether we would have known about the existence of the dead city, if in 1812 a traveler from Switzerland, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, had not discovered and described it.

Sights of the city of Petra
Temples, tombs, baths, colonnades-the stone city boasts more than 800 monuments of antiquity, which are evidence that hard-working and talented people lived here.

To see this wonder of the world, you need to travel several kilometers through the Sik gorge. And you will need to do it on foot. Already here you will be impressed by the sheer cliffs that form the walls of the dark corridor. After leaving here, the first thing a tourist sees is the El-Khazneh Palace.

city of Petra

El-Khazneh Palace – one of the main attractions of Petra, is the tomb of one of the kings of the Nabataean Kingdom. The building is carved into a huge rock, has an elegant pediment and towering columns. To this day, it remains a mystery how the builders in those days managed to create such a structure-without scaffolding (there are no trees in this area) and special equipment. There is a version that the El-Khazneh Palace was the temple of the goddess ISIS.

city of Petra

Bypassing the rock in which the Palace is carved, you can see many buildings carved in stone – these are former residential buildings, stairs, arches, and even the Roman amphitheater, which once could accommodate about 4,000 spectators.

city of Petra

The city has two archaeological museums, many monuments of biblical Chronicles-mount Aaron, where the high priest, according to legend, died; the valley of Wadi Musa; the source of ain Musa (Moses). Here you can also see Qasr al-Bint, the main temple of the Nabataean Kingdom.

Another attraction that impresses with its beauty is the ed – Deir monastery, which is located on top of a cliff. The building is about 45 meters high and 50 meters wide. The monastery has only one room and a staircase that leads to a niche. The square in front of ed-Deir once had columns, and various religious ceremonies were held here. In front of the monastery, a cafe was organized for tourists so that they could hide in the shade and enjoy the beauty of antiquity under a cool drink.

city of Petra

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Excursions to the city of Petra
You can go to Petra on your own or take a tour. To thoroughly explore all the sights, one day may not be enough, so we recommend staying in a hotel in the nearby town of Wadi Musa. This is where the entire tourist infrastructure is concentrated. Wadi Musa hotels are not numerous – there are about 40 hotel facilities in the city, prices start from $ 16, and the average cost per day is $ 70.

What to bring from the trip:

Souvenirs with colored sand;
figures with the sights;
jewelry-costume jewelry.
city of Petra

How to get
It is a 3 – hour drive from Amman to Petra if you follow The “desert Highway”. You can also go along the “Royal road”, but then it will take 5 hours.

Bus

Every day, a bus runs from the Abdali bus station in Aman to Petra. it leaves in the morning at 06: 30, and the journey time is 3.5 hours. The bus goes back to Aman at 17: 00. The one-way fare is 10 Jordanian dinars (approximately $ 14).

Marshrutka

There is also a Wihdat bus station in Aman, where minibuses depart several times a day. The fare is 5 Jordanian dinars (approximately $ 7). Travel time is 3 hours.

From other countries

If you are vacationing in Egypt or Israel, then you also have the opportunity to visit Petra. Almost all travel agencies of resorts organize tours to Jordan.

More information can be found on the official website.

Entrance fee:

for 1 day – 50 Jordanian dinars (70 $);
for 2 days – 55 Jordanian dinars (77 $);
for those who arrive in Jordan for just a day, the entrance to Petra will cost 90 Jordanian dinars ($127);
guide – 50 Jordanian dinars ($70 us);
night tour (from 20: 30 to 22: 00) – 17 Jordanian dinars ($24).

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