Located in the desert canyons of southwestern Jordan, Petra was the capital of the ancient Nabataean civilization. Petra is an ancient city that lies in present-day Jordan and dates back to the fourth century B.C. Photo: Stock Photos from Aleksandra H. Kossowska/Shutterstock. Or grab a cup of coffee, smoke some shisha, and hang out at the charming Chiffchaff Cafe. 13. The Byzantines later took over for about 300 years, and by the beginning of the 8th century A.D., it was a completely abandoned city. Stretching over 102 square miles, Petra is an incredible site that attracted over one million tourists in 2019. Many of these Bedouins now work inside the park, supplying donkey and horse carriage rides, or selling merchandise and food. It’s 47m wide and 48.3m high and it is one of the most imposing sights I’ve ever set eyes on. Hi Jo. You'll love being part of the Lifestyle Fifty tribe. Then you’ll hear the clip-clop of horses hooves and carriage wheels coming up behind you – a chariot perhaps! The horse carts from the visitor centre to the Treasury are paid on how many people they take, so they go as fast as possible. History of the Lost City of Petra . Built as a tomb for a Nabataean king, its misnomer ‘the Treasury’ came from the belief that the urn carved into the centre of the second tier contained hidden gold. At its helm were the Nabataeans, a once-nomadic Arab tribe who had used their knowledge of the desert to amass vast wealth in the caravan trade, most lucratively that of frankincense and myrrh. Though the weather-worn rockface is still peppered with ancient dwellings and sepulchres, many are more modest. The route took us up 850 steps, roughly hewn into the rock face, which wound up another deep gorge. and 106 A.D. Itâs not known exactly when the Bdoul tribe took up residence in the ruins, but nomadic tribes have been living in the area at least as far back as the 1500s, says Steven Simms, a retired anthropology professor at Utah State University who studied the site and the Bdoul in the 1980s and 90s. The Lost City of Petra is one of the 7 Wonders of the World and is situated in southern Jordan. By bus, train, or flight, make your way down to the Southernmost Israeli city of Eilat. Films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Mummy Returns, and Aladin have all used its unique archeology as a backdrop. Many Bdoul sell souvenirs and donkey rides in the main tourist drag. The movie's fictional Canyon of the Crescent Moon was modeled on the eastern entrance to Petra, a 250-foot-high (76-meter-high) sandstone slot canyon known as the Siq that leads directly to Al Khazneh (the Treasury)âperhaps the most stunning of Petra's dozens of breathtaking features. However, King Aretas IV, who ruled between 9 BCE and 40 CE, is a likely candidate. "The vast majorityâ85 percentâis still underground and untouched.". There are camels with colourful saddles and cloths, some standing others lying down taking a rest, most of them giving the occasional grunt and groan. Well done. , Petra was quite literally ‘out of this world’ Kathy. Young boys selling postcards thrust strings of cards at you, “1 Dinar, 1 dollar, you buy!” say the tiny touts desperate to make a sale, just before your attention is grabbed by a Roman soldier appearing from nowhere dressed in full armour. The steps to the monastery aren’t for the faint hearted though, but although touch it’s so rewarding to get up there. âHere, itâs medicine. There, you’ll cross the border (don’t forget your cash) and take a few minute taxi ride to the town of Aqaba. Also known as the Rose City, the prehistoric city of Petra is an incredible spectacle that one must see to believe. If you prefer public transport, you can catch a JETT bus for around 20 Dinar (around $28) straight to Petra at the 7th Circle JETT bus station. His plan worked. Petra, ancient city, center of an Arab kingdom in Hellenistic and Roman times, the ruins of which are in southwest Jordan. When we turned the corner to Ad Deir (the Monastery) I stopped dead in my tracks. Petra, a city carved into the sandstone cliffs in Jordanâs desert, was capital of the Nabataean empire between 400 B.C. The site attracts almost a million visitors each year. But the following year, with the outbreak of war in neighboring Syria, tourism plummeted. Petra was largely abandoned after the 8th century CE. I’ve only just come across this post, Jo … a bit late, but it caught my eye as I am going to Jordon in September, including Petra – it looks amazing. Hi Ingrid, oh lucky you.Enjoy Petra – it is the most incredible place and experience. “Petra is a brilliant display of man’s artistry in turning barren rock into a majestic wonder” – Edward Dawson. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. Photo: Stock Photos from Usoltceva Anastasiia/Shutterstock. All rights reserved. From here, a small white mosque is visible. It was a tough walk. We heard some tales of $10 donkey or camel rides turning into $60 trips – there are seasoned operators around, so be careful, take small notes that don’t require change and make sure you barter the price you are about to pay – and that it definitely takes you not only to where you want to go but also BACK, and gets you OFF the animal at the end. The Nabataean kingdom continued to thrive for several centuries after it was annexed into the Roman kingdom in 106 CE. Petra is also known as The Rose City due to the colour of the sandstone from which it’s carved. 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Appropriately, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Al Khazneh is used as the location of the Holy Grail—one of the world's ultimate treasures. But more clues remain beneath the surface. The most anticipated highlight of the whole Jordan trip – Petra. It’s Jordan’s most visited tourist attraction. Shannon Mouillesseaux of upstate New York stumbled upon Moflehâs cave during a trip to Petra in the spring. The earliest findings thus far date back only to the second and first centuries B.C. However, this was not the city's original name, as the Nabataeans referred to it as Raqmu. Though it's called the Treasury, the structure is actually a tomb. Petra is one of the New Seven wonders of the world. I told them, 'Not any more.'". If you are fit and able to walk up steps, I’d recommend the Monastery as a must-see in Petra. Plus, the longer option includes a visit to Wadi Rum, which is a protected desert with epic sandstone mountains, other-worldly panoramic views, and dramatic sunsets — a must if you have the time. But I’m so glad we went further than the Treasury as the Monastery was out of this world. The Monastery’s name is misleading – built in the 3rd century BC as a tomb, it was probably later used as a temple. At the end of the Siq you come to a clearing and now it’s time to stop and walk very very slowly as you make the final turn out of the Siq because it’s here that the beauty of Petra suddenly opens. The man below said, “Have a break!” and followed it with, “Have a Kit-Kat!” we had to laugh. “You know she’ll love you more!”. After Burckhardt's amazing discovery, many Western explorers came to Petra to make drawings of the structures and study its architecture. It’s a natural geological feature Dave told me, that’s formed from a split in the towering sandstone rocks. You must have been exhausted after this shore excursion. And then there were old ladies selling trinkets and clothes from side stalls under tarpaulin, like big tents begging you to spend “Just one Dinar.”. The Jordanian visa fee is 40 Dinar (around $56), payable only in cash and in Dinar, which you can exchange on site. Loved our time in Paracas and Lima, Peru. I’ve just done some research and it’s listed as ‘One of the New 7 wonders of the world,’ as per National Geographic : “In 1985, the Petra Archaeological Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and in 2007 it was named one of the new seven wonders of the world.”, What a super place just up Dave’s street! Without light pollution or the hustle and bustle of city noise, you’ll sleep like a baby under the four giant blankets they provide in each bed. Old Village ResortFor visitors who prefer a few more frills, book a stay at the impeccably decorated Old Village Resort located just a mile down the road from the park entrance. Almost Hellenistic in style, it's adorned with floral and figurative decoration as well as architectural elements like columns and pediments that recall ancient Greek temples. Your email address will not be published. The Art of Ageing and Living The Good Life. Photo: Stock Photos from Richie Chan/Shutterstock. Celebrating creativity and promoting a positive culture by spotlighting the best sides of humanity—from the lighthearted and fun to the thought-provoking and enlightening. This is an excerpt from a longer feature by Orla Thomas, first published in Lonely Planet Traveller magazine, where she is features editor. Scholars know the Nabataeans were in Petra since at least 312 B.C., says archaeologist Zeidoun Al-Muheisen of Jordan's Yarmouk University. Mofleh Bdoul grew up in the ancient city of Petra, scrambling up the rocky slopes along with herds of goats amid the ruins of tombs and temples.
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