Archive for February 13th, 2008

Some people may argue that this is in Africa or should be in a category in and of itself (Middle East), but it lies not on the African tectonic plate, so I decided to put it in the Asia category.  This archaeological site is famous for being in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


Petra is a city that was rediscovered by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig in 1812 in Jordan.  It can now be reached by the Siq Gorge (The Valley of the Crescent Moon in Indiana Jones), which is a crag in the rock that sometimes is no wider than 2 meters.  At the end of the mile-long passage, comes into site the Khazana, or Treasury building built in the Greek style of architecture right into the surrounding 130 foot-high cliff side.  It was constructed in 56 B.C. by an Arab tribe, the Nabateans, who made the city a center for trade.  The two square mile city was very well protected.  In the site there are many more buildings and houses built into the cliffs. 

The best times to see this site are dawn and dusk, as the site has an amazing feel of antiquity and history and the stone turns blood-red everywhere.  The best times of year to travel here are from March to May and September to November.  The site has a great Bedouin feel and has survived the test of time.  The simple architecture and gardens make Petra an oasis for all.


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