Also called the Rose City, Petra is an archaeological and historical city located in the Southern Jordanian governorate of Ma’an. It is famed for its beautiful rock architecture and water conduit system.
During the 312 BCE, the place was established as the capital city of Nabataeans. Its location lies on the slope of Jebel al-Madhbah, or Mount Hor in the Bible, and between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. Back then, it was among the most important roads between Egypt, Syria-Phoenicia, and Arabia.
It was believed that this historic city was home to more or less 30,000 people. However, it was abandoned in the year 106 A.D. Up to now, the reason it was abandoned remains unknown.
It was only in 1812 when the site became known to the Western World. It was introduced by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss explorer. By that time, it was dubbed as “rose city half as old as time”, in an award winning poem written by John William Burgon.
In 1985, Petra has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the Eastern traditions blended with Hellenistic architecture. They even described it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”. It then became one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the land.
Eight years ago, Petra was listed among the New 7 Wonders of the World and was also selected as one of the “28 Places to See Before You Die” by the Smithsonian Magazine.
Here are some of the most popular places in Petra:
The Palace Tomb
The Urn Tomb
The Byzantine Church
Sextius Florentinus Tomb
Petra at Night