World Heritage, archaeological site, excavated and sculpted in the stone ... Petra attracts the attention of millions of people every year who enjoy a unique show in the world. Located in a narrow valley between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, in this article we will tell you more about this beautiful settlement that you must visit at least once in your life.
Curiosities of Petra that will leave you speechless
One of the great wonders of the world cannot be free of mysteries and secrets. Located 200 kilometers from the Jordanian capital, Amman, this beautiful site is accessed after 3 hours of road travel. Among rocky cliffs, stones and sandstone we invite you to discover Petra and its curiosities:
1. The lost cityPetra - Pocholo Calapre
It is known in this way because although its history is very old (7th century B.C.) It was abandoned during the Middle Ages and "discovered" in the early nineteenth century by a Swiss explorer called Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.
This man got in 1812 that the local inhabitants took him to the "lost" site after converting to the Muslim religion and changing his name to Ibrahim Ibn Abdullah.
2. The hidden city
We can no longer say that it is lost, but that it hides many mysteries. Did you know that only 20% of Petra can be visited? Sandstorms, floods and earthquakes buried many of the important buildings and sites, which for the most part have not yet been brought to light.
«Digging is opening a book written in the language that centuries have spoken within the earth.»
- Spyridon Nikolaou Marinatos -
3. The sculpted cityPetra - Robert Hoetink
While the word Petra derives from the Greek and means "Stone," the truth is that the city It has not been built with this material but ... carved and carved into the rocks! A superhuman effort without a doubt and that generates many doubts. How many people and for how long will they have worked to create this place?
4. The city of the Nabateans
According to the investigations Petra's period of greatest development took place when it was occupied by the Nabatean civilization. It was an Arab people who traveled from the lands of Palestine between the fourth century B.C. and I d.C. and that was dedicated to commerce.
Its main way of life is reflected in the sculptural reliefs that represent camel caravans, especially in the area of the deep gorge known as Siq.
5. The funerary cityPetra - InnaVar
Called by the Nabateans "the city for tomorrow," Petra was chosen by this tribe who practiced pagan religion (worshiped many gods) to turn it into a great cemetery. Several graves have been found in spaces excavated in the rocks. These are simple hollows or more splendid spaces (depending on the body of those who rest in them) such as the "Treasury of Petra."
6. The astronomical city
Many of Petra's main buildings follow astronomical orientations. The Nabateans paid much attention to the movement of the sun when building their homes. Therefore, for the outstanding buildings, the equinoxes and the solstices were taken into account.
One of the most prominent examples is the Monastery, which during winter receives direct light through the door and illuminates the main altar. For its part, the Urn Tomb has a door aligned by the sun during the equinoxes, and in the solstices the interior corners of the enclosure are illuminated.
7. The Roman cityPetra - JPRichard
In the year 63 B.C. Petra was conquered by Pompey and, although at first the Nabateans maintained their autonomy, when their last king died (year 106) the city was completely controlled by Emperor Trajan.
Over time it was losing importance as a commercial enclave, when traditional routes were diverted to the maritime zone. Also, you can see archaeological remains of this civilization such as the Vía de las Columnas and the Theater.
To end, Draws attention to the irrigation system and how they got the water being in such a desert place. These engineering works were those that partly caused the "concealment" of Petra for so long.