Petra, Holy Land

Petra was declared a UNESCO site in 1985, allowing for this great treasure to be preserved, while still being enjoyed by many visitors today.

Travel to Petra in this 5:51 minute video

In a wilderness of sand and rock, 100 miles south of the Dead Sea (in Jordan), is found the amazing city of Petra. During the lifetime of Christ it was a rich and powerful capital of a tribe of caravan-robbers. From out of the solid rock, the great nobles of the country had magnificent tombs carved for themselves. This tomb is nearly 200 feet high; the door is 40 feet high. No one has lived in Petra for centuries. (CC BY 2.0 ©2010 Arian Zwegers)


The first wonder of Petra's many wonders
The first wonder of Petra’s many wonders, is the narrow canyon that offers the only entrance to the city. This slit in the rock is so narrow that in places we can stretch forth our arms and touch both walls. Petra was safe from the attack of enemies, for four soldiers, in this canyon, could defend the city against 4000. (CC BY 2.0 ©2006 Maureen)


The amphitheater.
The amphitheater. (CC BY-SA 2.0 ©2007 Bob McCraffrey)
The masterpiece
The masterpiece of Petra’s rock-carved temple-tombs is this tomb of a king. It is hewn right out of the rock cliff in one marvelous piece. A local legend tells that the King had command over the jinns and forced them to hack out the tons of sandstone from the canyon walls. Then Greek artists carved the rough rock into this delicate temple. The color of the carved rock is rosered. The figures of tourists give a good idea of the enormous size of the tomb. (Al Khazneh, “The Treasury,” was originally built as a mausoleum and crypt at the beginning of the 1st Century AD during the reign of Aretas IV Philopatris. Its Arabic name Treasury derives from one legend that bandits or pirates hid their loot in a stone urn high on the second level.) (CC BY 2.0 ©2017 subherwal)


We creep for over a mile along the bottom of the knife-slit canyon.
We creep for over a mile along the bottom of the knife-slit canyon. The rock walls almost close together overhead, shutting out the light. Then we turn a corner, and suddenly this sun-flooded temple rises up in front of us. (CC BY 2.0 ©2007 pollhup)