Rosalyn Prentice

Written by Rosalyn Prentice

Modified & Updated: 01 Jul 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Petra Monastery, also known as Al-Deir, is one of the most iconic and mesmerizing landmarks in the world. Located in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, this magnificent structure is a testament to the architectural marvels of the Nabateans, an ancient Arab civilization. With its impressive facade carved into the rose-colored sandstone cliffs, Petra Monastery never fails to captivate visitors with its grandeur and mysterious aura.

But there’s more to Petra Monastery than meets the eye. Behind its stunning facade lies a wealth of history, legends, and intriguing facts that are bound to leave you in awe. From its role as a religious sanctuary to its unique architectural features, let’s dive into the captivating world of Petra Monastery and uncover 11 fascinating facts that make this ancient landmark truly extraordinary.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Petra Monastery is a stunning ancient structure carved into cliffs, showcasing incredible architecture and spiritual significance, making it a must-see UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visitors can explore hidden chambers and tombs within the Petra Monastery, offering a serene and intimate experience in the heart of ancient Petra, away from the crowds at the famous Treasury.
Table of Contents

A Marvel of Ancient Architecture

One of the most awe-inspiring features of the Petra Monastery is its intricate architecture. Carved directly into the rock face, this 2,000-year-old structure showcases the amazing engineering skills of the Nabateans, the ancient inhabitants of Petra.

Size Matters

The Petra Monastery is an imposing structure, measuring 47 meters wide and 48.3 meters high. Its sheer size and scale make it an impressive sight to behold.

A Majestic Entrance

As you approach the Petra Monastery, you’ll be greeted by a grand staircase comprising 800 steps. This monumental entrance adds to the allure and grandeur of the site.

The Hand of Ancient Gods

The Petra Monastery was believed to be dedicated to the goddess Al-Uzza by the Nabateans. It was considered a sacred place of worship and pilgrimage.

A Center for Spirituality

The inner chambers of the Petra Monastery were once used as a monastery. Monks sought solace and spiritual enlightenment within these hallowed walls.

A Natural Wonder

The Petra Monastery is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. The stunning landscape and rugged cliffs create a picturesque backdrop for this ancient marvel.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1985, Petra, including the Petra Monastery, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This prestigious recognition highlights its cultural significance and historical importance.

A Hollywood Star

The Petra Monastery gained international fame when it served as a filming location for the blockbuster movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Its timeless beauty captivated audiences worldwide.

Hidden Treasures

Exploring the Petra Monastery reveals a hidden world of ancient tombs and chambers. The mystery and intrigue of these hidden treasures add to the allure of this historical site.

The Road Less Traveled

While the famous Treasury of Petra attracts the majority of visitors, the Petra Monastery remains relatively less crowded. This allows for a more serene and intimate experience in the heart of ancient Petra.

A Site of Endless Wonder

The Petra Monastery is just one of many marvels to discover within the expansive Petra Archaeological Park. From the Roman Theater to the Royal Tombs, this UNESCO site offers an endless array of wonders to explore.

In conclusion, the 11 captivating facts about the Petra Monastery shed light on its architectural grandeur, historical significance, and cultural importance. Visiting this enchanting site is like stepping back in time, allowing you to glimpse into the rich tapestry of the ancient Nabatean civilization. The Petra Monastery truly is a treasure worth exploring.


In conclusion, Petra Monastery is an awe-inspiring landmark that holds a wealth of history and captivating facts. From its architectural marvels to its storied past, there is no shortage of intriguing information to discover. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of ancient civilizations, Petra Monastery has something to offer.

Visiting this remarkable site allows you to witness the grandeur of an ancient civilization and immerse yourself in its rich cultural heritage. Exploring the intricacies of Petra Monastery will surely leave you in awe of the achievements of those who came before us.

So, make sure to put Petra Monastery on your travel bucket list and experience firsthand the wonders that await within its ancient walls.


Q: How old is Petra Monastery?

A: Petra Monastery dates back over 2,000 years, with its construction believed to have begun in the 1st century BCE.

Q: How was Petra Monastery built?

A: Petra Monastery was carved out of sandstone cliffs by the Nabateans, an ancient Arab civilization skilled in rock-cut architecture.

Q: How long does it take to hike to Petra Monastery?

A: The hike to Petra Monastery typically takes around 1-2 hours, depending on your fitness level and pace.

Q: Are there any guided tours available at Petra Monastery?

A: Yes, there are guided tours available at Petra Monastery to provide you with in-depth knowledge and historical insights.

Q: Can I enter Petra Monastery?

A: Yes, visitors are allowed to enter Petra Monastery and explore its magnificent interior.

Q: What is the best time of year to visit Petra Monastery?

A: The best time to visit Petra Monastery is during spring or autumn when the weather is mild and pleasant.

Q: Are there any nearby accommodations to stay at when visiting Petra Monastery?

A: Yes, there are several hotels and accommodations available near Petra Monastery, offering a comfortable stay for visitors.

Q: Can I take photographs inside Petra Monastery?

A: Yes, visitors are allowed to take photographs inside Petra Monastery, capturing the beauty of this ancient landmark.

Q: Are there any restrictions for visiting Petra Monastery?

A: While there are no specific restrictions, it is advised to respect the cultural and historical significance of the site and adhere to any guidelines provided by the authorities.

Q: Are there any other notable attractions near Petra Monastery?

A: Yes, Petra Monastery is part of the larger Petra Archaeological Park, which is home to various other noteworthy landmarks such as the Treasury and the Siq.

Petra Monastery's captivating beauty will leave you yearning to explore more ancient wonders. Uncover the secrets of Samarra Archaeological City, where centuries of history lie buried beneath desert sands. Marvel at the enigmatic Stonehenge, an ancient monument that continues to baffle and inspire. Finally, be enchanted by Fatehpur Sikri, a magnificent World Heritage Site that showcases the grandeur of Mughal architecture. Each destination holds its own unique allure, promising an unforgettable journey through time and culture.

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