Enchanting spots: Petra, Jordan

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The Treasury

The Treasury

The ancient city of Petra , located deep in the mountains of southern Jordan, is an awe-inspiring monument to mankind’s ingenuity and craftmanship. The city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new seven wonders of the world, is situated in a basin and was carved out of the rose-red stone of the surrounding mountains. Built by the Nabateans as their capital city around 100 BC, the city was an important trading city that controlled the main commercial routes between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. Archaeological evidence shows that its inhabitants were able to control the water supply by means of a series of dams and cisterns, and this allowed the city to thrive in the harsh desert environment.

Petra

Petra

The approach to the city is through a spectacular red sandstone gorge that, in some parts, is only a few meters wide. Just before the end of the gorge (the Siq), the split in the rocks provides an unforgettable preview of the city’s most astounding monument: the Treasury. Past the Treasury, the gorge opens out into a broad plain where other buildings including the amphitheatre, all hewn from the rockface, are located. An easy climb up a hill brings visitors to the city’s largest building: the Monastery, another stunning architectural masterpiece.

The Monastery

The Monastery

Petra has formed the backdrop for many films, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; a tribute to its mystery and charm that continues to captivate visitors right to this day.

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17 Responses to “Enchanting spots: Petra, Jordan”

  1. ira 02/04/2011 4:28 am
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    me gustrai ir es la ciudad me de mi sueño si

  2. velvet 20/11/2009 2:20 pm
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    Thank you Doreen. I’ve published quite a few now. The latest one was the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica.

  3. Doreen Pendgracs 20/11/2009 2:08 pm
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    Love the idea of “Enchanting Places.” Well done, and I look forward to reading more.

  4. Travelfusion 10/11/2009 1:02 pm
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    I love this post – thanks for sharing! I’ve always wanted to go see Petra…so much so that I’ve blogged about it today and included your post as a link 🙂

    Check it out – http://blog.travelfusion.com/2009/11/10/where-theyve-been-middle-east/ – and thanks again for sharing your tips!!!

    -Kathryn @Travelfusion

  5. velvet 25/07/2009 11:52 pm
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    Hi Alan,
    Thanks for your comment. There are many ways to get to Petra from Amman (tours, taxi, bus, etc..) – keep in mind though that it is quite a long way and it’s best to take your time as there’s so much to see in between like Karak and Wadi Rum. A 3-4 day return trip would be the minimum, more if you head further south to Aqaba. As it’s the height of summer now, I suggest you arrange your trek around Petra in the morning – the temperatures rise very quickly to an unbearable 40+ degrees Celsius. Bring sufficient water and a cap with you! Keep in the shade as much as possible as well. I’m not sure if it’s still there but there was a fantastic hammam (Turkish baths) in the small village outside the main entrance to Petra – it was a great stop after a day in dusty Petra!

    Have a great time there. I’m sure you’ll love it.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  6. Alan 25/07/2009 11:32 pm
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    Yes! Headed to Petra in a few weeks, and couldn’t be more excited. Nice writeup! Any tips on what time of day to go? How to get there from Amman? How much time to set aside?

  7. velvet 21/07/2009 4:31 pm
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    Thank you Amy, Dave & Deb, and Lisa for your comments. If you’re ever in Jordan, don’t miss this amazing place (Jerash and Wadi Rum are other highlights!).

    Cheers,
    Keith

  8. Lisa at Wanderlust Women 21/07/2009 4:23 pm
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    Great article – you are indeed fortunate to have traveled here & love the pics!

  9. Amy @ The Q Family 21/07/2009 3:20 am
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    Truly enchanting indeed! Love the photo and your description. You could write a travel guide. 🙂

  10. Dave and Deb 21/07/2009 3:14 am
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    I really want to go to Petra. It was also in the Latest Transformers. The movie wasn’t very good, but it took place in great locations.

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