Petra Holidays

Petra Travel

Chief among Jordan's archaeological riches is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Rose City of Petra. The city was first settled around the 6th century BC by the Nabataean tribe from Western Arabia. Located at the crossroads of ancient trade routes, the city survived on toll and taxes collected from traders. A succession of habitation, leadership and further development followed.

Despite several attempts to conquer their capital, the Nabataeans remained practically independent until the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra and the reunification of the Roman Empire by Octavian in 31 BC. In 106, the Romans under Trajan finally captured Petra to mark the beginning of the decline of the city. Caravan trade routes were gradually displaced by the advent of sea trade routes and the city’s importance gradually declined. Petra then passed into slow obscurity. Rediscovered in 1812, it remains on the list of many travellers.

The Nabataeans carved their capital in the surrounding canyons and hills of sandstone. The entrance to the city is through a narrow and deep winding trail-like fissure in the rocks known as the Siq. The rocks give way to reveal the most awesome sight, that of the famous facade of the Kazneh - the Treasury of Petra. As the Treasury is passed, the hidden valley widens to reveal the remains of the city proper including dozens of ancient Nabataean tombs and a Roman rock-carved street lined with temples, royal tombs, public buildings and a vast amphitheatre.

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last updated - 22 Dec 2014 3:28 PM