Petra in Jordan
Undoubtedly one of the most ancient monuments on the ground is city Petra. Petra is also one of the most popular destinations within the Middle East. This ancient city is located in present day Jordan.
It is a naturally fortified mountain valley of Wadi Musa or Valley of Moses, on the eastern slope of Wadi Arab. Here are the roads to Gaza, the West Bostra and Damascus in the north of Eilat Red Sea and Gulf across the desert.
In the region of Petra is located the nature reserve "Dana" and the Crusader fortress of Shobak and Caracal, which you should not miss to see. The easiest way to the area of Petra can be reached by car or bus from Amman, however, it is easiest to travel by horse or to walk the walk as the road passes through a cloven rock which in places is closer than 5 m. After about 15 km the path is extended to the visitors and it opens a unique picture of this exquisite ancient city.
According to biblical texts, the area of Petra has been inhabited by predecessors, but it is uncertain whether the city is mentioned in the Old Testament. The oldest archaeological findings are dated back to around the 6th century BC. However there is no information about the Semitic name of the town and during the Hellenistic period it became famous with the Greek name Petra. The name literally translates as rock.
According to archaeologists the area around Petra was inhabited in prehistoric times. Here with antique remains there is evidence of settlement in 9000. There us also a commercial crossroads between the Arabian Peninsula and Syria.
Most buildings in Petra are carved into monolithic rock, with the result that today we can see the unique stone temples, tombs and many more buildings. At that time the important commercial crossroads town prospered because of the many people and goods crossing the road from here to Egypt, Greece, Rome, Assyria and Arabia.
On December 6th, 1985 Petra is listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO.