Petra is one of the most interesting ancient cities in the world.This beautiful city, one of the 7 wonders of the world, is the living representative of the ancient Nabataean civilization.The ancient city of Petra is located in the south of Jordan and to the east of the Wadi Araba, which is part of the Great Rift Valley.The cities mentioned as Salah and Seir in the Amarna Letters are thought to be Petra.
Known as Raqmu by the locals of the region, Petra is as much a favorite in Jordan as it is a mysterious blend of Eastern and Hellenistic architecture.
Settlement in the city’s is estimated to be around 9000 BC. It is also rumored that it was founded as the capital of the Kingdom of Nabatta in 400 BC.The Nabateans were Arab communities engaged in trade.
Considering the history of the city, it is seen that it hosts many different cultures.Many unsuccessful attacks were carried out on Petra, which is a wealthy city engaged in trade.One of them is It has been made in 312 BC by the former Macedonian Emperor Antigonus I.But since the owners of the region knew about desert life better than Macedonians, they could easily defend their cities from these attacks.The era of King 4 Aretas was the city’s richest ages.Petra It had become one of the important cities where Rome traded in the 2nd century BC.The city that continues to grow with its wealth and glory, In 104 CE, it would lose its independence and fall under Roman rule.
As the importance of the sea routes increased, the importance of Petra would decrease.The city suffered great damage in the great earthquake in 363 CE.Although many churches were established in the city during the Byzantine period, the city gradually lost its importance.During the widespread of Islam, nobody was living in the city except for a few nomadic communities.Petra was nearly forgotten.
Rediscovery of Petra
Petra remained a forgotten city known to several nomadic communities living in the area.It was discovered by the Swiss traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812 and re-introduced to the whole world.Declared as a UNESCO “World Heritage Site” in 1985, the city was registered as one of the 7 wonders of the world in 2007.
It is possible to see the theater, temple, house, and royal tombs in the ancient city of Petra, which is carved into the limestone.All these structures carved into the rocks are works of art.
The Nabataean kingdom, known for their idolatry, built huge temples here for their gods.They managed to build a wonderful city by adding everything they were inspired by the countries they trade to their own values.They created this magnificent city, integrating Ancient Greece, Roman, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian styles with their own style.
Petra, once described by poets as the “rose red city”, never deceived the poets.Petra has a hazy pink color that is actually made of lilac, gray, and white and is broken by yellow swirls, but it should also be said that it constantly changes according to the arrival of light at every hour of the day.
The El-Khazneh temple is one of the most known and interesting temples in the Arab world.It got this name because it was believed to be a hidden treasure inside this temple.As with any structure in Petra, this beautiful temple it was carved out of the stone.As a result of the researches, it has been confirmed that there is a hidden section under El-Khazneh and that this section is the royal tombs.It is thought to be home to his grave too the famous king Aretas the 4th.
The temple is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jordan.
The ancient city of Petra is located 200 kilometers south of Amman.Petra can be easily reached thanks to the valley called Siq.