In my trip to Jordan, after my one night in Wadi Rum it was off to Petra. I had no idea what Petra was about but I knew it would be very interesting. So by the time we got to Petra which was about a 3 hour drive plus with lunch we got to what’s called Little Petra.
Little Petra is an ancient city similar to the famous Petra (which we’ll soon talk more about) but only on a much smaller scale.
Even though this site looks pretty similar to Petra (which you’ll soon see) its purpose was a bit different.
Historians believe that this place was built during the 1st century when the Nabatean city thrived, and Little Petra was a type of suburb. So you will not find tombs here, but rather houses which were used by rich citizens or by travelers arriving in Petra for their lucrative trade business.
Here is an image in Little Petra and you’ll soon see how similar but how much larger Petra (the city) is.
After our tour of Little Petra we drove to our hotel which was Movenpick Petra. The location was fabulous because it was right across the street from the entrance to Petra (the city) as well as to the Petra Museum.
That evening we decided to buy tickets to see Petra at Night. I had no idea what I was getting into and I’m glad that I didn’t. It was a 40 minute walk in the dark with a somewhat lit pathway into Petra (the city) to the famous building The Treasury to hear a bedouin music show. The show was only a half an hour and definitely not worth it. But the trek was really hard and if I didn’t have my cell phone’s flashlight and my girlfriend’s arm to hold onto to, it would have been extremely difficult terrain to navigate. But we did it but was it worth it. I guess it’s who you askLol.
Here is the pathway that we had to walk at night which was the 40 minute walk and the second photo shows you where we had to wind up.
Here it is at night. Yup, Over 300 people on the ground (that sloped, might I add)Lol and it was Halloween soon before the 31st!!!
Trust me, it was dangerous and scary…But yes, it was an adventure!
So what is Petra?
The city of Petra was established as a trading post by the Nabateans, an Arab Bedouin tribe indigenous to the region in what is now southwestern Jordan. The Nabateans lived and traded in Petra and accumulated a large amount of wealth and the Greek Empire attacked the city in 312 B.C. The Nabateans successfully defeated the Greeks by taking advantage of the mountainous terrain surrounding the city. However, the Romans then invaded Petra in 106AD and the Nabateans were forced to surrender. The Roman Empire annexed their newly gained territory and changed its name to Arabia Petraea. They ruled over the city for more than 250 years until the middle of the fourth century A.D., when an earthquake destroyed many of its building. The Byzantines then took control of the region and governed Petra for some 300 years.
After the eighth century, when Petra was largely abandoned as a trading center, its stone structures were used for shelter by nomadic shepherds for several centuries. Then in 1812 Petra was discovered by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Once the western world became aware of it’s existence it attracted architects and scholars alike and in 1929, the British archaeologists Agnes Conway and George Horsfield, as wells as scholars Tawfiq Canaan and Ditlef Nielsen created a formal project to excavate and survey Petra. In 1985 Petra was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Petra Bedouin tribespeople who had lived in the caves of Petra were forcibly relocated by the Jordanian government. In the early 2000s, the site was named one of the “Seven New Wonders of the World,” which lead to a very large number of foreign visitors. Since then, efforts have been made to protect the ruins of Petra from this heavy tourism, as well as from damage from floods, rain and other environmental factors. Regardless of these factors Petra is a site to behold and here are some photos!
This is the entrance into the city of Petra called The Siq.
When you see The Treasury you know that you have officially entered the “actual” city.
Here are some pictures of the actual landscape. We walked 3 miles to the only American type restaurant in Petra and then 3 miles back. If was hot and dusty but I must say that I definitely thought that I was in some kind of dessert movie and it was a very amazing and surrealistic feeling and definitely worth it.
Petra is an experience.
If you have a sense of adventure and want to go into the unknown, then when things get better in the region, don’t miss it! It is truly wondrous.