The lost city of Petra in Jordan was rediscovered in 1812 by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss explorer, who heard rumours of an ancient city sculpted into the mountains. The city’s screen appearances include Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Arabian Nights, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. There is no doubt that Petra is a city of adventure.
Carved onto the rock face, Petra is a rose tinted city and Jordan’s prime attraction. Located between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, Petra is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it is also a UNESCO world heritage site and it is undoubtedly a city brimming with history and beauty.
After you have passed through the Siq, a long sun-eclipsing chasm which forms the entrance to Petra, you are faced with The Treasury, also known as El-Khazneh. This is just the first in a series of impressive monuments that stretch across several kilometres. The city itself, with its tombs, baths and temples is an open air museum, featuring not just buildings and artefacts but this rock-cut city is also home to intricate and beautiful sand art. Dating back to a settlement that began more than 2000 years ago and boasting more than 800 monuments it stands as an impressively majestic travel destination. Key sights include: the Palace Tomb, one of the largest monuments in the city, the Obelisk Tomb and its 5 graves, the Corinthian Tomb, The Petra Church and of course, the Treasury. The Petra Archaeological Museum is where many of the smaller artefacts and treasures of the city are held and is worth a visit.
There are a block of hotels and resorts in the nearby area such as Petra Palace but if you’re searching for a more extravagant holiday, then the beautifully designed Taybet Zeman Hotel and Resort is only 5 miles away and perched on a cliff top for spectacular views.
You can see most of the city in one day, but if you want to explore the surrounding area, its best to set a few days aside to immerse yourself in the landscape and explore the nearby countryside. With planning it’s possible to organise camel or horseback rides nearby as well as paragliding and snorkelling. If you want to get a feel for the area then visit Shawbak Castle, perched on a hill and only a half hour drive away or explore the Wadi Rum desert in a 4x4 , perhaps stopping on the way to see Bana, a mountain-top village.
Time of day is an important factor to bear in mind when you visit Petra. The city is carved from red sandstone which means that early morning and late afternoon dusky light are the best times to view this kaleidoscope city. Beware of the intense midday heat and dress and bring provisions accordingly for this searing climate.
Petra is Jordan’s prime attraction, with its rose-red Hellenistic architecture and its Nabatean caravan-city roots it is well worth visiting . Those with the travel bug are always seeking out the freshest, most spectacular sights and this is one of the many world must-sees. Petra is a city that would not be out of place in a storybook set in a magical kingdom far away and for a tourist with a thirst for adventure, this striking city is an impressive chunk of history.
Last Edit by jessicacook on 12/09/2011 EDIT NOW >>