Travelstick Petra Jordan


Wadi Musa, the town at the entrance to Petra, has been built mostly to cater to tourists and has a huge selection of hotels, shops and restaurants. For onward travel from Petra, although there may be direct buses to your destination from Petra bus station they are often greatly overpriced. A better option is to get a bus to Ma'an (45 minutes, 1JD in 2020). From Ma'an buses travel to most places in Jordan for a much more reasonable price.

The city of Petra (meaning "Rock") was probably built around the 2nd century BC by the Nabateans, an Arab Bedouin tribe who settled in the area and built the city as a trading post. The Nabateans soon accumulated a significant amount of wealth which attracted the attention of the Greek Empire who attacked the city in 312 B.C. This event marks the first reference to Petra in recorded history. Although the Nabateans successfully resisted the Greek invaders the Romans succeeded in conquering the city in 106 AD. The Romans continued to inhabit the city until the middle of the 4th century when an earthquake destroyed many of its buildings and the city was gradually abandoned. The last sign of human activity in the area is a Crusader outpost from the 12th century. After the Crusaders the city was unknown to the Western world until it was rediscovered by the Swiss traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.

The site is considered significant by historians and archeologists because of its beautiful rock-cut architecture and innovative water management system. Given the rugged, mountainous terrain Petra wouldn’t seem like a logical place to build a city, however the Nabateans took advantage of this geography and literally carved the city’s buildings out of the surrounding stone cliffs. As desert dwellers, the Nabateans had long struggled with water supplies during dry seasons. When they built Petra they developed a unique system of dams, cisterns, rock carved water channels and ceramic pipes to harvest, store and distribute rainwater for year-round use, as well as to protect the city from flooding.

Later the architecture of Petra began to take on a mix of the different cultures that occupied it. Christian churches were constructed by the Byzantines, who considered Petra the capital of the province of Palaestina. During Roman rule the Petra Roman Road was built with ornate gates to mark the entrances to the city. Petra was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

Entrance 50JD (1 day), 55JD (2 days), 60JD (3 days).
Prices in 2020. You will need to bring your passport to enter.

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