Petra: البتراء (AKA The Red-rose City)

Also known as the Red-rose city of Petra, this Nabatean work of art is situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. An entire city half-carved into humongous mountains, Petra became during Hellenistic and Roman times a major caravan centre for the incense of Arabia, the silks of China and the spices of India, a crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. Petra is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges with an ingenious water management system that allowed extensive settlement of an essentially arid area during the Nabatean, Roman and Byzantine periods. It is one of the world’s richest and largest archaeological sites set in a dominating red-rose sandstone landscape.

 

Visitors of Petra, dedicate a minimum of 2-3 days to fully explore the outstanding site. The value of Petra resides in the vast extent of sophisticated tomb and temple architecture; religious high places; the remnant channels, tunnels and diversion dams that combined with a vast network of cisterns and reservoirs. The fusion of Hellenistic architectural facades with traditional Nabatean rock-cut temple/tombs including the Khaznah, the Urn Tomb, the Palace Tomb, the Corinthian Tomb and the Deir “the Monastery” represents a unique artistic achievement and an outstanding architectural ensemble of the first centuries BC to AD. The varied archaeological remains and architectural monuments from prehistoric times to the medieval periods bear exceptional testimony to the now lost civilizations which succeeded each other at the site.