Walk along its narrow cliffs. Touch the stone in which it is carved. Be impressed by what man was able to build. Contemplate the colors of this magnificent architectural work cradle of the Nabataean civilization. We are talking about the Lost City of Petra. A destination you can’t miss on your world travel route. It is located in Jordan and is visited by thousands of tourists every year who are impressed by its majesty and beauty… like an architectural jewel! Read on and you’ll know why the lost city of Petra is the new destination we recommend you visit in our travel log.
A little bit of history
Petra is a huge city carved in stone. On the contrary, it was carved in the same rock of the place where it is located. This work was built in the VII century B.C. It is located in the Valley of Arava, from the entrances of the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Eliat-Aqaba in the Red Sea in this way is a border point between the desert of Israel and southern Jordan.
The Edomites were the founders of this city, but those who lived there were always the Nabataeans. The city was an important conclave especially for the trade routes between southern Arabia, China and India with Egypt, Syria and the Mediterranean. A very prosperous place thanks to the trade of fabrics, species and incense, as well as the access they managed to have to the water despite being located in a very arid area with a scarce annual rainfall. This allowed this civilization to develop agriculture and livestock. The place was also considered a strategic point to defend against enemy troops. The permanence of the Nabateans disappeared with the expansion of the Roman Empire who took possession of the city, hence their monuments vary in architectural style.
With the course of the centuries, the city was abandoned after the invasion of Saladin, in addition, the instability of the land and the constant earthquakes took to the city to be lost in the time until at the beginning of the 19th century (in 1812), the Swiss explorer Ludwing Burckhanrdt rediscovered it.
This majestic city was chosen in 2007 as one of the 7 wonders of the modern world as well as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When visiting Petra we can visit many of its buildings and places and as a tourist attraction today has even souvenir services, transportation, hotels and restaurants, but for those who come that stand out and call attention are The Treasure or Al-Khazneh, the Monastery (Ad-Dayr), the Amphitheater and the Temple of the Winged Lions in addition to a large number of roads, passages, caves and tombs.
The Treasure (Al-Khazneh)
After walking for a while through the Siq or main entrance to Petra, little by little this impressive place begins to appear before our eyes. Just in case you don’t remember, The Treasure was chosen by the directors of the Indiana Jones film saga and the last crusade to interpret the scene of Professor Jones in search of the Holy Grail. The Transformers film also used this place as an environment to give life to the second installment of the Vengeance of the Fallen. We are impressed by how the colors of the façade change according to the hours of the day becoming a spectacle of giant beauty before the spectator. It is said that this monument could have been a temple or a royal tomb.
The Monastery (Al-Dayr)
It is another of the largest and most important monuments in the city of Petra. It is a little further away and to reach it we must climb a slope after crossing some gorges and ravines. The experience in that place and the view that you will be able to appreciate from there is unique and it is an obligatory visit for the traveller.
The Amphitheatre and the Temple of the Winged Lions
With a seating capacity for 3000 people of Greek Roman style gives us an idea of the importance and human movement of this city when it was in full development. In the Temple we can see the altar of a goddess who may have been the goddess Al’Uzza who was one of the deities of the Nabataean people, as well as a chamber of worship to his divinity surrounded by columns. A true architectural work unmatched in greatness and beauty.
How to get to the city of Petra
A flight to Amman airport will drop you off nearby. Then you will have to look for some kind of local transport (i.e. taxi, bus or rent-a-car) to drive for 4 hours to the city of Petra. Another alternative is to take a flight to Aqaba airport and from there the distance is much shorter as in an hour and a half you will be on site.
At what time can we visit the city of Petra
Petra is visited by thousands of tourists every year. Visiting in spring (between March and May) or autumn (September and October) makes your walk a little cooler and less oppressive due to the high temperatures. Anyway, don’t forget to bring comfortable shoes, hydration, sunscreen, hat and glasses as the temperature can be around 30 degrees. We remind you that entering the city of Petra has a cost, but you can choose between some of the tourist vouchers, if you take it for a day sometimes costs more (100 euros) than if you take advantage of a stay for 3 days (70 euros), remember that the tour is long so try to take advantage of your day early. At night the city of Petra also dresses in lights and the experience if by day you thought it was incredible at night is amazing. If you take advantage of the visit from the early hours of the morning you will be able to see most of the city, but everything will depend on your interest in archaeology and history.