Ancient Petra City (part1)

Ancient Petra city is the main sightseeing of Jordan. It's located at a height of more than 900 m above the sea level inside narrow Siq Canyon surrounded by the beautiful Aravah Valley. The only road to the valley goes through the gorges in the North and South of it. In 2007 Petra was called one of the new seven wonders of the world.
Petra was located at the crossroads of two main trade roads: one of them connected the Red Sea with Damascus and the second one - the Arabia Gulf with Gaza at the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. That's why the caravans, going from the Arabia Gulf and full of precious spices, had to endure harsh conditions of the Arabian Desert for weeks until they reached the salutary coolness of Siq Canyon leading to Petra.
There the travellers could finally find food, shelter and cool and life-giving water. For hundreds of years trade has been very profitable in Petra. But when the Romans explored the new sea lanes to the East, the land spices trade lessened and Petra gradually became deserted and lost in lands. Most of the Petra buildings were erected in different epochs beginning with the 18th century BC to the 6th century AD.
Now Petra is visited by about half a million tourists annually. A one day admission ticket costs about 55 euros, two days - 60.
Pictured: a view of the road to Petra.

From this very place the Siq gorge begins. There is a main road, even and quite wide, which almost all tourists choose to walk by. But there is also another road, less comfortable. If you choose the second one, you should turn right at the post and go through the tunnel. It's very difficult to walk there but you'll have a unique chance to feel like one of the greatest travellers, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, felt when dicovering this place in 1812.

Some more views from above.

That's how the main road looks. Before the journey begins all the tourists are actively convinced to hire a carriage to get to Petra, but actually the road on foot is really quite easy here. The carriage costs 20 euros - no haggles, the price is officially determined.

With the help of the terra-cotta pipes the Petra architects created a complex water supply system and, in spite of the dry climate, its residents have never been in need of water. There were about 200 reservoirs where rain water was kept in. Besides, these terra-cotta pipes collected water from every possible source within 25 km from Petra. The annual rainfall level here is only 15 cm. So to save the precious water the local residents had to cut the canals and reservoirs right inside the rocks.

When the tourists pass cool Siq Canyon of 1 km long, they see the Treasury - a great building with a facade, cut from a huge rock. This is one of the best saved buildings of the 1st century.

via zyalt


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