The city of Petra

The city of Petra is one of the most unusual and strange cities on Earth. And the very place where this city is located is unusual and mysterious. The road to Petra goes to the south from The Dead Sea, towards Aqaba, the famous and only Jordanian resort on the Red Sea. The local places are well known by the Bible. It was here that Moses, with a stroke of a rod, drew water from the rock. A small dry river, in the canyon of which is Petra, is today called "Wadi Musa" - "Moses River".

The city of Petra is one of the most unusual and strange cities on Earth

At the turn of 4-3 millennium BC in these places settled the tribes of the Arab-Nabataeans who previously roamed the Arabian desert. The Romans, who were trying to conquer the capital of the Nabataeans, first collapsed - Peter was impregnable.

The earthquake of 363 destroyed most of the city of Petra. Gradually the inhabitants left it, and for a long time the city was empty.

The city of Petra was discovered by the Swiss traveler and explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. In 1812, disguised as a merchant, he made his way from Aleppo to Egypt via Aqaba. Along the way, he learned that the famous Petra, the legendary rock town is very close...

So Petra was discovered - the legendary rock city. Today it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the Middle East. Thousands of people come here to see firsthand the legendary city of the people of Nabataeans, who came from the desert, settled here and in a very short period of time created amazing works of art.

The road to the city of Petra still remains as complex and mysterious as it was at the time of Burkhardt. But here the stone corridor suddenly makes a turn, the darkness recedes, in the rays of a dazzling sun, you see a building of amazing beauty - the famous rock temple-mausoleum of El-Hazne, "Treasury of the Pharaoh", as the Arabs call it. Mausoleum of El-Hazne was created, most likely, in the 2 nd century - possibly in connection with the visit of Syria by Emperor Hadrian. The exact purpose of the structure is not fully understood. There is a suggestion that originally it was the temple of the goddess Isis. In any case, many features of the monument say that it was built by masters who were familiar with the techniques of the architecture of Alexandria of Egypt.

Behind the mausoleum of Petra the gorge expands, and the view opens with an unforgettable panorama. The high rocks surrounding the spacious plateau sparkle in the oblique rays of the sun with all shades of red. Huge, several hundred meters high, the steep wall is decorated with magnificent, richly decorated facades of the rock structures of the city of Petra, some of them have several floors.

In the steep cliffs of Petra are carved and living quarters (sometimes on several floors) and grave vaults, leaving, like living rooms, into the depths of the rocks. Some rocky rooms were temples.

Rocky crypts with architectural decoration of the facades have been preserved in Petra several hundred. The oldest of them (from the 4th century BC) are the simpler and smaller facades, crowned with denticles on the cornice.

In the rocky structures of the city of Petra, there are no two identical facades. The huge centuries-old experience of creating rock tombs, passed down from generation to generation, allowed the builders to create an absolutely original work each time. Nabataean masters easily perceived the ancient forms and enriched them with their traditional architectural techniques.