I f you are someone who wishes to discover the sights and mysteries surrounding ancient sites, then you definitely need to unravel the beauty and mystique surrounding the lost world of Petra, an archaeological city in southern Jordan.Petra in Jordan is one of the 7 Wonders of the World, and it’s on many people’s bucket lists for its amazing and incredible . The reason is simple: Petra is simply magnificent and the fact that it has been chosen as a set for a lot of movies, makes it even more palatable. Travelling internationally is becoming common again and now that you are getting the reins back to flying out and creating amazing memories, Petra is definitely a contender which deserves getting the limelight.
The Ancient City of Petra has been in use since prehistory, but it was under the Nabateans that it became a wealthy and cosmopolitan city. It was established in 312BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans until 100AD when Romans invaded it and took over Petra. Petra remained unknown to the western world until 1812 when the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt entered the Siq, discovered the site and brought the fable of Petra to the attention of the World. Petra has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 and it’s Jordan’s most-visited tourist attraction.
With its magnificent ombré ruby sandstone formations and the sprawling ancient architecture, this place is designed to take your breath away. It’s easy to spend two to three days cooped in desert tents just to leisurely take your time to appreciate the rich historical wonder around you. But nobody can ever prepare you for the beauty that is in Petra. And here are the reasons why:
Named after the Greek word for rock, Petra is carved inside a red-rose sandstone rock. The entrance to this ancient site, which is also called a “Rose City”, is through a very narrow one-kilometre ethereal gorge called the Siq. It is no doubt that your camera will stay right in your face as soon as you step into the entrance. You will be quite disappointed to find, however, that your photos will never capture the unearthly exquisiteness of these rock formations.
On the cover of every Jordanian travel magazine is the façade of The Treasury or the Al-Khazneh. Originally built as a mausoleum and crypt at the beginning of the 1st century AD, it is now the driving force of tourism in this lost city. Hellenistic and Greek-inspired architecture lovers will have a feast with the Roman tombs, ancient houses, amphitheatres, temples, obelisks, and those much read about paganism altars found in the city. A professor friend of mine cannot hold his enthusiasm for these lovely and mysterious ruins. You probably wouldn’t too once you’ve laid your eyes on the cryptic tombs and grand temples.Sitting on top of a serrated mountain is another beautiful temple called The Monastery. Its 800-step trail will beat every Stairmaster known to man – but the cardio run is worth it. Can you imagine that these paths have been there since 400 B.C.? Imagine how many (famous and historical) people have walked those stairs that are part of a once-thriving trading and capital city.
The city of Petra is surrounded by a number of cliffs that visitors can easily climb up to. It is best to bring reliable hiking boots if you plan to visit as a lot of walking has to be done. When there is a lot of climbing, there should be a lot of drinking too – of water, that is. It is better to appreciate the deceptively calm view of the Arabian landscape while you’re hydrated.
As Petra is a preserved heritage site and brings tourism to the region, it is highly prioritized by the Jordanian government, which has ensured that it is both accessible and safe for tourists. The country relies heavily on the tourism industry and welcomes international visitors to visit this unique and magical site.The people currently inhabiting the area around Petra and nearby Wadi Rum are known as Bedouins, both a settled and nomadic community that have learned to adapt to the harsh desert conditions in a sustainable way.Bedouins are famous for their culture of hospitality and warmth and their deep understanding of their natural surroundings. Over time, they have succeeded in striking a unique balance between integrating into Jordanian society and the local economy, and maintaining their old traditions.Visiting Petra not only allows you to connect with Jordan’s unrivalled beauty and architectural history, but it also offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about life and culture in the region.