Petra, Jordan: The village, carved into the rock, was built as early as 9,000 BC. BC and is considered to be one of the oldest settlements in the Middle East.
The former rock city of Petra is located in the Edom region of Jordan, around 240 km south of today’s capital Amman and around 120 km north of the Gulf of Aqapa, which flows into the Red Sea. The town, carved into the rock, was built as early as 9,000 BC. BC and is considered to be one of the oldest settlements in the Middle East. In 1985 Petra was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Strategic center of the Middle East
In ancient times, Petra was the capital of the north-west Arab nomadic tribe Nabataeans and, along with the Syrian Bosra of the Arab trading metropolis of Hegra, was one of the most important places of this era. The venerable city was strategically located and connected, among other things, the caravan routes of Egypt and Syria as well as southern Arabia and the Mediterranean region.
Historical monuments with monumental dimensions
Located in the mountains of Edom, with around 800 historical monuments, it is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sights and is ideal for cultural and historical trips. The facades of the buildings were carved directly out of the rock and impress with their gigantic dimensions. Internationally known buildings in Petra include:
The treasure house: The “treasure house of the Pharaoh”, built in the Hellenistic style, impresses with a height of 40 meters and a width of 25 meters. In the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” the building, carved out of solid rock, was used as the hiding place of the Holy Grail.
The Roman amphitheater: The theater was built in the 1st century AD and had 45 rows of seats for up to 10,000 visitors. The building was probably destroyed by an earthquake in AD 363 and was only rediscovered during excavations in 1961.
The rock temple ad-Deir: The rock temple outside of Petra was carved into a mountain wall in a high position and impresses, among other things, with the 9 meter high urn on the top of the round temple. In the Middle Ages, the temple complex was used as a monastery by monks.
The “new seventh wonder of the world”
With its unique monumental buildings, Petra is certainly one of the most spectacular destinations for study trips in the Arab world. The touristic development of the city in the rock began directly after the archaeological excavations in the 1920s. The first hotels were initially built in the immediate vicinity of the city, but these structural mistakes have now been remedied. At the end of the 20th century, a modern visitor center was built at an adequate distance from Petra. The area around the rock city was officially declared a protected national park. As part of an international survey by the Swiss NewOpenWorld Foundation, the cultural site even received the unofficial title of one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.