Want to Visit Petra – Jordan? Here You Go!

Much has been said and writtenabout Petra, but then nothing really prepares you for a trip to this rose red city. They say ‘Seeing is believing‘, and this holds true for Petra, the archaeological wonder of Jordan. Characterized by the red mountains and memorials of a forgotten race, there is nothing here that is synonymous with modern civilization.
History: Petra has seen the Roman rule, as well as its decline. It had been the capital city of the Nabataeans, who established it round about 312 BC for controlling the caravan trade to Egypt, Syria, Aquaba and the Persian Gulf. The Romans arrived in 64 AD and made architectural modifications. They started diverting the trade route, eventually diminishing the rule of the Nabataeans. As Christianity started spreading across the Byzantine Empire, Petra became a seat of the bishopric. The Urn Tomb was converted into a church. The isolation of power began 661 AD onwards when the Umayyad Dynasty rose to power. The curtain fell upon this once prominent city with a series of devastating earthquakes soon after.
Architecture: The architecture of Petra is a merging of eastern traditions with Hellenistic highlights. This is where east meets west with rock-cut structures and monuments converted to Roman structures. The spectacular setting of the quaint town is within a narrow gorge. Entrance through the ‘siq’ introduces the traveler to carvings and inscriptions along the walls with a water chamber. The siq leads you to the treasury, which used to hold gold and other precious jewels.
The temples and tombs above the ground are exemplars of architectural splendor. How can one forget the red sandstone cliffs and the stark red residential complexes that have recently been excavated? Well known artifacts include decorative friezes, tuccowork, relief carvings of a sandstone eagle and a vase with panther-shaped handle.
Unique: What is unique about Petra is perhaps the camel ride that every tourist enjoys. Camels are ideal for riding on the ground, but for steeper heights including the Monastery or the High Place, you must choose the donkey. Another highlight is the bottles of decorative sand art that are sold by vendors all over the city. The specialty of these artifacts is that they are made out of the naturally colored sand that is scraped from the walls of the canyons. The most common design is the silhouette of a camel against desert surroundings. The Bedouins display samples of large Nabataean coins. In fact, they have tiny coins, which actually belong from that era.
Seasons: The best time to visit Petra is during autumn and spring when the cool weather permits extensive outdoor travel. You can look around the town comfortably and explore the lush landscape. Those traveling off season might experience rain, wind and heat waves.
Weather: The best month to visit Petra is during April when the flowers are in full bloom. The average temperature is 73 degrees F. you can also visit in March, May and between September and November. There’s slight rainfall in March, although regions around the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba are comfortable. The summer temperatures can reach extremes, while winters are windy with an occasional snow.
Image courtesy of  www.placesmustseen.com

Author: Jonathan Marlow

Travel Blogger and dedicated world traveler

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  1. The Real Story Behind Petra in Jordan | World Travel Agency - […] country’s greatest attraction is the lost city of Petra, a historic city completely carved out of rose colored sandstone…

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