If you have ever seen Indiana Jones, you’ve seen Petra. Located in Southern Jordan, Petra is known as one of the seven wonders of the world. Its history dates back to as early as 7000 BC, settled by the Nabateans around 3000 BC. Just a thousand years later it was developed as the main trading hub in the region–positioned perfectly near the incense trade routes. The mountainous terrain in and around Petra provided the perfect place for the Nabateans to build their wealth, allowing them to build temples and tombs into the stone, collect rainwater, and have bountiful agriculture. Its annexation to the Roman Empire and an earthquake in 363 AD led to the majority of its destruction, ultimately abandoned, and left in the hands of the local Bedouin community.
In 1812 Johannes Burckhardt dressed up as an Arab and tricked a local Bedouin guide to take him to Petra. Since this ‘rediscovery’, Petra became increasingly known around the world.
In 1985 it was deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and voted one of the 7 World Wonders in 2007. Today it is a symbol of Jordan and the most popular tourist attraction in the nation, visited by over a million foreigners annually.
Today Petra consists of over 60 square kilometers of siqs, trails, tombs, temples, theatres, and caves. There’s a lot to cover, but the pictures I snapped while there do a pretty good job of doing it justice. Let’s dive in!