Absolutely nothing can prepare you for the most spectacular site that is Petra, famously known as the ‘The Rose Red City’; Petra was built by the Nabateans some 2,200 years ago. The City’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it was carved into pure rock faces and is hidden between jagged cliffs of red-hued sandstone. The Nabateans, who were from Arab origin were known for being distinct and clever traders who managed to turn Petra into an important connection for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked India, China, and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.
Located 240 km south of the capital Amman and 120 km north of the Red Sea town of Aqaba, Petra is considered one of the most famed archaeological sites in the world. Thousands of visitors from all over the world visit Jordan and the region each year just to see the place that is considered ‘Jordan’s Treasure’.
In 1985, Petra was chosen as a World Heritage Site and was selected by Smithsonian Magazine as “one of the 28 places you should visit before you die.” In July of 2007, Petra was proclaimed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
During the Exodus, The Prophet Moses and the Israelites passed through the Petra area in Edom. Local tradition says that the spring at Wadi Musa (Valley of Moses), just outside Petra, is the place where Moses struck the rock and brought forth water (Numbers 20:10-11). In the Holy Bible, it has been stated that Moses was not allowed to enter the Holy Land but could only glimpse it from Mount Nebo, because he struck the rock with his rod to bring forth water, instead of speaking to it as God had commanded him (Numbers 20:12-24).
It is believed that Petra was the last staging post of the three kings, who took frankincense, gold and myrrh to honor the baby Jesus in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-12). The King Aretas, mentioned in Corinthians 11:32, was a Nabataean king who ruled Petra.
What to See in Petra:
The Treasury (Al- Khazneh): The pride and joy of Petra and the most marvelous monument to see there. No words can describe the beauty of The Treasury, as it simply must be seen to believed. The iconic site, misnamed by the Bedouins as they thought it contained gold, has become a symbol for the entire Kingdom.