For today, I wanted to go somewhere that is not really well known but nonetheless extremely beautiful and unique. Petra, Jordan is a historical and archeological city famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Hidden behind almost an impenetrable wall of rugged mountains, this ancient city is a majestic gem worth writing a whole blog post on!
There is, in fact, nothing in the whole world that resembles Petra. Its rock-carved structures are full of mysterious charm and the city has proved itself to be the most famous site in all of Jordan. In its glory days, Petra was the center for caravan trade between all passing travelers from all around, including Gaza, Damascus, and across the desert to the Persian Gulf. Evidence has been found that the city was first settled around 1500 B.C.! With a perennial stream, Petra has created a sort of an artificial oasis with control of water for the traveling traders.
The Petra basin has over 800 monuments for the visitor to see, including buildings, baths, tombs, temples, gateways, streets, and others. Although this city declined rapidly during the Roman Rule and suffered a huge earthquake, the city has kept most of its beauty alive. Most of the architecture seen is made from the kaleidoscopic sandstone naturally provided by the area. Petra is also known as the “Rose-Red City” because of the reddish tint that is given off by the sandstone.
The whole city was abandoned for centuries until in 1812, it was once again discovered by a Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhart. Petra is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been declared one of the 7 New Wonders of the World.
It’s no wonder that Petra has been so appreciated by its visitors and critics. Just looking at the pictures, I’m sure you’re already mesmerized. According to locals, the best time of the day to visit Petra is during dawn and sunrise because you can see and explore all the colors displayed by the monuments in the light sun. Check out more info on Petra, Jordan at http://www.atlastours.net/jordan/petra.html.