Moving on to the Middle East, we head to the historical and archaeological city of Jordan – Petra.
Known as ‘the Lost City of Stone’, the city of Petra continues to lure travellers to come and see its beauty with their very own eyes. This ancient city is one of the most remarkable civilizations in all of human history. Its enchanting grandeur and detailed stone-cut architecture will definitely have people asking, “who was behind all this?”
The Nabataeans, who were the first people in Petra, were true artists of their craft. Most of the sandstone buildings, tombs, caves, and temples were hand-hewn, which is a testament to the architectural skills the Nabataeans possessed.
The Petra Archaeological Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985 and was named one of the new seven wonders of the world in 2007.
The Treasury, Al-Khazneh
Soaring at 43 metres high, this historical monument will surely make you feel ridiculously minuscule.
The rosy Treasury was carved in the 1st century as a tomb for a Nabatean king, which eventually was used as a temple. Regardless of the casualties that came its way, this tomb could not be shaken. The Treasury withstood earthquakes and wars as the Nabataeans built it into the sandstone mountain, rather than constructing a freestanding structure.
While this is the highlight or main event when in Petra, as some might say, this is just the beginning of the unravelling of this city’s wonders.
Towering way over your head at 80 metres high, this natural gorge serves as the gateway into the city of Petra. The As-Siq stretches to almost 1,200 metres long and is filled with massive rocks of different hues and abstract formations.
Besides serving as an entrance into the city, the Siq had more purpose than it looks. In fact, the rocks of the Siq have actually been carved by the Nabataeans to form rice terraces that were used for farming and irrigation.
The Monastery, Al-Deir
You will know that you have reached the end of the trail once you arrive at The Monastery, also known as Al-Deir. Following the Treasury, the Monastery is another one of Petra’s legendary monuments. However, it is less known amongst tourists as it is far more strenuous and could be quite the trek for some. As it is hidden high up in the hills, this is bound to be a true uphill battle.
To reach the top, it would take you between 800 to 1,000 steps and at least 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your personal speed and pace.
If you want to experience a rockier and bumpy ride, there are donkeys that can be hired with their guide. But be aware that the donkeys are rather fast creatures, and that the route is steep – definitely not for the faint-hearted. However, some may advise against it as it is still questionable whether they take care of the donkeys properly or not.
Due to the city’s rose-coloured facade, it is easy to think that all the monuments are the same. But although identical, each one holds their own stories. All that’s left of the city of Petra may just be ruins, but its remains continue to leave people in absolute awe of this stunning city.