What to see in Petra, the pink city


Petra has lived in oblivion since the Byzantine era was abandoned. It disappeared for everyone and we stopped knowing about its existence. I can't imagine the amazement he could feel Jean Louis Burckhardt in 1812 when walking through the gorges, that precious treasure was found. The dream of any archaeologist. The dream of Indiana Jones.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This newspaper was made on the v1 of this website, when we wrote only and exclusively for the family, so it is not as complete as the rest. However, you will find much more information about Jordan in the travel guide to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan from 2009

Also, specifically from Petra, you have a more detailed article in (Day 13 of that diary)

To evoke all this from the perspective of a traveler is complicated today already adapted to tourism, but escape and think about what that moment should have been leads you to dream for a moment. And there we were, first thing, accessing the door of the newly opened visitors.

Petra is located in the middle of the mountains. Founded in antiquity, towards S.VII a.C. by the Edomites, it was occupied in the S.VI a.C. by the nabateans, its main creators and those who made it prosper thanks to its commercial routes and caravan routes. The Romans in 63 and 64 B.C. they conquered Petra and annexed it. Binzantinos and Constantinople dominated but did not influence the city excessively, until little by little it was abandoned and neither Islam nor Ottomans nor later invaders left traces of its passage through here. On the following map (taken from Google Images) you can see how The city is in a very particular enclave, in the middle of the mountains, which facilitated this isolation.

From the Visitor's Center you can reach the entrance of the gorge, or Siq, in horse, evoking the movie of Indiana Jones himself. Tourist but fun.

A long (1.2 km) and narrow canyon, the Siq, it contains a mysterious air. You walk in the middle of great gorges between the mountains, eroded by water, wind and the years, as if they had opened to lead Jean Lous Burckhardt and now to us towards this great discovery.

And there it is. Is awesome. He Al-Khazneh or Treasure It is one of the most impressive man-made beauties I've ever seen. All carved in the same rock. That is why Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. Observing that Hellenistic facade with its six beautiful columns is something that is priceless.

Looking around is even more incredible. The sun plays with the walls creating beautiful photos of lights and shadows with the sandstone rocks of a multitude of pinkish colors. The date on which it was created is not clear, it is said that between the S.I.C. and the S.II d.C. in honor of Nabatean king Aretas III. Its interior is empty, much more sober.

Without leaving our amazement, we enter the great city, to the right of the Treasury. There we can observe many small tombs carved into rock. It is called the "Street of the Facades" because it contains more than 50 tombs and Nabatean houses with staggered auctions. At the end of the street is the Nabatean Theater, carved more than 2,000 years ago. This was subsequently reformed by the Romans, giving it more capacity.

The Urn Tomb, to the right of the street, is possibly the most spectacular next to the Palace Tomb, imitation of a Greco-Roman palace whose 18 columns of the upper level are its most remarkable element.

We now enter the most Roman part, the main Street, built in S.II d.C. on the Nabatean road. The street ends at the Puerta de Temeos, of S.II d.C. also, that gives entrance to a sacred enclosure. It is, without a doubt, the area most influenced by any civilization other than the Nabatean.

It is time to face another of the challenges that Petra, the rise to Monastery or Deir. Before doing so, we treat ourselves to a soda in a restaurant located there. Catching strength and mentalized, we begin the more than 350 steps that separate us from the top. An ascent of more than 45 minutes, which many travelers or tourists do in mule in exchange for dinars. My travel brother Joseba and I, we are not intimidated, and there we are, step by step.

Built in S.III a.C. The Monastery is even more imposing than the Treasury. It has that name because it was used as such during the Byzantine era. In front there is a "chiringuito" where you can have a drink for a while and observe such precious carved in rock. Possibly the most beautiful in the whole city.

We had a good time there. And not only because of what blinds us in front of us, but because of the views towards all the surroundings: the Wadi Araba desert, the Israeli and Palestinian territories, ... And from there we descend to eat something to the restaurant we had seen, to plan the visits for the afternoon, to dose ourselves and to keep a little of that reddish sandstone as a souvenir.

It's after 4, and only Joseba dares with me. That is why we call ourselves Sacrifice Brother's, and that is ... it has given us to climb the more than 1,000 stairs that lead to the Altar of Sacrifice. Almost no tourist, not to say none, does. On the way we meet a small bedouin from the mountain who jumps down the road ...

Does this never end? Uffss We sweat and sweat and sweat ... and we sweat ... but we finally arrive. The views from above were incredible. It seems that the world will never end in the distance.

And the Altar of Sacrifices? Well ... this ... ahem ... let's say ... it was an esplanade with 4 goats. So I'm going to cheat you. It was more worth it for the views than for the altar itself.

Time was running out in Petra, but not quite. We returned down the gorge on the way to the hotel to take a shower and have an ice cream. Night fell but a night show was waiting for us in the treasure.

Petra Night It is a nightly tourist show that combines candles and lights with traditional music. Especially nice is to see all the Siq lit with candles that will signal you the way. The following photos are not mine, but taken from Google Images, since that night my camera did not work very well.

The most tired day of the trip is over. I had dinner in a kind of cave-restaurant next to the hotel that I have not kept the name of. Petra is an experience that, as I will say in our conclusion of the trip, no one should miss. Petra is una of the 7 wonders of the world on their own merits, and I am delighted to be able to attest to that. Goodnight everyone.

Isaac, from Petra (Jordan)