Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 18 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Maria Anna Blondin
home iconUncategorized
line break icon

Petra, the Rose-Red City

Gabriele Nissim

Aleteia - published on 09/01/13

Petra, the Rose-Red City

Petra, the Rose-Red City. The warm colors of the land, the sinuous lines of the canyon and unexpected natural beauty of the city carved into the rock, make of Petra an almost enchanted place, suspended in the past.
Reachable only on foot or horseback, after going through a long winding sandstone canyon through rocks, called Sik (or Siq). And having traveled almost a kilometer, you can see one of the most impressive archaeological locations in the world: Petra, the ancient capital of the Nabataean kingdom, in 1985 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
© Gabriele Nissim
© Gabriele Nissim
Upon exiting the long hallway is the astonishing facade of Kazneh al-Faroun, or The Pharaoh’s Treasure (imaginary name of the place, invented by the Bedouins), a monument of the ancient city of Petra, 43 meters high by 30 meters width, excavated into the rock, was the tomb of a Nabatean king. Due of its location, at the entrance of the archaeological zone, it has become Petra's most famous monument, an example of the architectural originality of this town.
Petra, also known as the Rose-Red City, for the countless shades that enliven the rock, is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating places in the world. However, the discovery of their existence is modern, dating back to 1812. There are many legends that are told about Petra, but according to archaeologists, another city would existed underneath the visible one, hidden now by sand, but also magnificent.
© Gabriele Nissim
© Gabriele Nissim
The city has more than 800 monuments, of which 500 are tombs. A wide portion of Petra is occupied by the amphitheater, which has been also carved from the sandstone, and could accommodate almost 8,000 people. The site was abandoned in the eighth century due to the trade deficit and natural disasters. But even the old cavities sheltered Bedouin families few years ago, the site remained forgotten until recently.
Petra is an archaeological site in Jordan, located about 250 km south of the capital Amman. It is Halfway between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea, at an altitude between 800 and 1,396 meters above sea level (the urban area is about 900 m.), in the mountainous region of Edom, at the east of Wadi Araba.
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
2
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
3
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
4
MASS
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
5
COUPLE
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
6
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for strength
7
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.