Cammy Work

Cammy Work

Published: 20 Sep 2023


Petra, an ancient city carved into the mountains of southern Jordan, is one of the most extraordinary archaeological sites in the world. Its unique blend of natural beauty and architectural marvels make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. With its rich history dating back to the 6th century BCE, Petra was once the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom and served as a major trading hub along the Silk Road. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and draws thousands of visitors each year who are captivated by its stunning rock-cut architecture, intricate carvings, and fascinating culture. In this article, we will delve into 12 extraordinary facts about Petra that highlight its significance and allure as one of the most remarkable landmarks in the world.

Table of Contents

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Petras is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its outstanding cultural value and historical significance. The ancient city, located in southern Jordan, is renowned for its well-preserved rock-cut architecture and fascinating archaeological remains.

Nabatean Capital

Petras served as the capital city of the Nabatean Kingdom from the 4th century BC to the 2nd century AD. The Nabateans were skilled merchants and builders, establishing a prosperous trading hub at Petras along the ancient Incense Route.

Elaborate Tombs and Facades

One of the most captivating features of Petras is its elaborate tombs and facades carved into the rose-colored sandstone cliffs. The intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail in these structures showcase the architectural brilliance of the Nabatean civilization.

The Treasury: A Marvelous Facade

The Treasury, or Al-Khazneh, is the most iconic structure in Petras. This impressive facade served as a ceremonial tomb and is instantly recognizable from its appearance in several Hollywood films, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Monastery: A Hidden Gem

The Monastery, also known as Al-Deir, is another remarkable monument in Petras. It is located high in the mountains, and reaching it involves a challenging hike, but the awe-inspiring view and the grandeur of the structure make it a worthwhile endeavor.

Ancient Water Management System

Petras showcases the advanced engineering skills of the Nabateans through its intricate water management system. The city had a sophisticated network of channels, cisterns, and dams that efficiently collected and distributed water to meet the needs of its inhabitants.

The Siq: A Mesmerizing Entrance

The Siq is a narrow, winding gorge that serves as the main entrance to Petras. Walking through this impressive natural canyon, surrounded by towering cliffs, creates a sense of anticipation and sets the stage for the grandeur that awaits within.

Ancient Cave Dwellings

In addition to the renowned rock-cut structures, Petras also features ancient cave dwellings. These cave systems were used as houses, storage spaces, and even places of worship, providing a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of the Nabatean people.

The Great Temple Complex

Within Petras, there is a sprawling temple complex that highlights the religious significance of the city. The main temple, dedicated to the Nabatean deities, was a site of pilgrimage and worship for centuries.

Astronomical Alignments

Petras exhibits remarkable astronomical alignments in its architecture. Certain structures were positioned in such a way that they aligned with celestial events, indicating the expertise of the Nabateans in astronomy and their deep connection with the cosmos.

Integrated Trade Routes

Petras played a pivotal role in the ancient trade routes connecting Arabia, Egypt, and the Mediterranean. Its strategic location allowed it to flourish as a center for trade and cultural exchange, contributing to its wealth and prosperity.

Rediscovery by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt

Petras remained lost to the Western world for centuries until it was rediscovered by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in His accounts of the ancient city’s magnificent ruins sparked interest and fascination among historians and archeologists.

As you can see, the 12 Extraordinary Facts About Petras highlight the remarkable history, architecture, and cultural significance of this ancient wonder. Visiting Petras is like stepping back in time and immersing oneself in the marvels of the Nabatean civilization.


In conclusion, Petra is a truly extraordinary destination that captivates visitors with its rich history, stunning architecture, and breathtaking natural beauty. Its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World is well-deserved. From the iconic Treasury to the intricate rock-cut tombs, every corner of Petra holds a fascinating story waiting to be discovered. The ancient Nabatean civilization has left behind an incredible legacy, and exploring this archaeological gem is an experience like no other.


Q: What is Petra?

A: Petra is an ancient city located in modern-day Jordan. It is famous for its rock-cut architecture and was once the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom.

Q: How old is Petra?

A: Petra dates back to around the 6th century BCE when it was established as the capital of the Nabateans. The city flourished until the 2nd century CE when it was gradually abandoned.

Q: How was Petra built?

A: Petra was built by the Nabateans by carving into the rose-colored sandstone cliffs. The intricate constructions, including houses, temples, and tombs, were all created by hand using simple tools.

Q: How big is Petra?

A: Petra spans over 100 square kilometers, with most of its famous structures concentrated in the central area known as the “Rose City”.

Q: Can you enter Petra?

A: Yes, Petra is open to visitors and can be explored on foot. Admission fees apply, and there are various ticket options available depending on the duration of your visit.

Q: How long does it take to visit Petra?

A: The amount of time needed to visit Petra can vary. It is recommended to allocate at least one full day to explore the main attractions. However, if you want to fully immerse yourself in the site’s history and take in the stunning landscapes, consider staying for multiple days.

Q: Can you take photos in Petra?

A: Yes, photography is allowed in most areas of Petra, but drones are prohibited without prior permission.

Q: Are there guided tours available in Petra?

A: Yes, guided tours are available in Petra and can provide valuable insights into the history and significance of the site. Hiring a knowledgeable guide can enhance your experience and ensure you don’t miss any hidden gems.

Q: Is there accommodation available near Petra?

A: Yes, there are several accommodation options available near Petra, ranging from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels and guesthouses.

Q: Are there restaurants or food stalls in Petra?

A: Yes, there are several restaurants and food stalls in Petra where visitors can enjoy a variety of local dishes and refreshments.

Q: Is Petra a safe place to visit?

A: Petra is generally considered safe for visitors. However, it is always advisable to take necessary precautions, such as staying in well-traveled areas, following local guidelines, and being mindful of your belongings.

Q: What is the best time to visit Petra?

A: The best time to visit Petra is during the spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) when the weather is mild and comfortable for exploring the site. Summers can be extremely hot, while winters can be chilly.

Q: Are there entrance fees to visit Petra?

A: Yes, there are entrance fees to visit Petra. The cost varies depending on the duration of your stay and the type of ticket purchased. It is recommended to check the official Petra website for the most up-to-date information on ticket prices.