Petra : The Beautiful City Carved in the Sandstone
Who know that deep within the Jordan Dessert lies the ancient city of Petra. This ancient city is famous for a carved building in the sand cliff from the east to west Wadi Musa or Valley of Moses. The City of Petra was designated the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1985.
The History of Petra
The name Petra was originated from the Greek which means ‘Rock’ which perhaps replace the biblical name ‘Sela’. Referring to Bible to the city of ‘Sela’ states that all the buildings and monument in Petra belongs to the Nabatean and Roman periods. This city was once the capital city of the Nabateans which has great power to rule from the far north to Damascus. From the historical trace, this city was occupied from fifth century BC to fifth century AD. After the occupations of the Nabateans, centuries later, an Arab Tribe take over the capital city. After earthquakes destroyed the city which obviously not the first one, Petra became ceased. In the 7th century, found Islamic invasion to the city and in 12 century, the Crusaders’ activity also found here. After that, Petra was remained unknown to the western world. In 1812, the Swiss traveller, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt rediscover the city. The city of Petra Excavations started from 1958 by the British School of Archeology in Jerusalem. The ruins of Petra spread from the east known as the Siq or Wadi Al-Siq which is a narrow gorge. This is a large tomb named Al Dayr or the Monastery; this tomb is then best-known monument in Petra. It actually is an unfinished tomb that was used as a church during the Byzantine times. the excavations which begun in 1993 discover more temples and monuments that show the ancient life of Petra city.
There are lots of god and goddess statues carved from the rock since the Nabateans worshipped Arabian god and goddess as well as the pre-Islamic belief. Names of Arabian Kings also craved in the Petra City such as Aretas, the Hellenised form of Harith.
Locations in Petra
The famous locations in Petra city are the street of facades, the renaissance tomb, the garden temple, Corinthian tomb, and the theater.
The Street of Facade – is the row of monumental Nabatean Tombs which is carved in the southern side. On both sides of the street, there are numbers of grindstones from Nabatean burial interfaces. This interface is believed to be the representation of the senior official or prince in the city.
The theatre – this building was built during the reign of King Aretas IV. The theatre can accommodate 4000 spectators with seven stairways to the auditorium and three rows of seats. The theater is facing the great wall of tombs.
The monastery – this is the largest monuments in Petra which used as the meeting room of the religious associations. During the reign of King Rabel II, this monuments was used as church chapel and therefore named as Monastery.
The beautifully carved of monuments and tombs in sandstone exist for more than two thousand years.