Petra in Jordan is impressive! You’ve seen it on Indiana Jones, but it’s actually REAL! I’ll take you on a photo tour of Petra, and share the history. I highly recommend visiting!
Petra, one of the 7 Wonders of the World
First I’ll briefly catch you up on the history. Next, let’s take a photo tour.
Petra was established in the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans. They carved the entire city out of the rock. They didn’t build columns – they kept carving the rock until they had columns. Given the back-story, it’s some of the most impressive architecture I’ve seen.
Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage site
Petra is one of the new seven wonders of the world (as of 2007) . It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site as well (since 1985).
Next, let’s walk down to their canyon called the Siq.
The Siq in Petra
Siq – Scale / By the numbers
The Siq is a 250-foot-high (76-meter-high) sandstone slot canyon. So impressive!
The site from Indiana Jones
Watch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade before you arrive. You may recognize this spot (above photo) from the film.
The movie’s fictional “Canyon of the Crescent Moon” was modeled on it. The Siq leads directly to Al Khazneh (the Treasury). The Siq is pictured above, and the Treasury is below.
When was it discovered?
Petra was established as early as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans. You can visit it now, but the site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812. UNESCO describes it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”. I agree! It’s such a gem!
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
At the film’s climactic final scenes, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery burst forth from the Siq and walk deep into the labyrinths of the Treasury in their quest to find the Holy Grail. But, as usual, archaeological fact bowed to Hollywood fiction when Indy came to Petra.
In reality, the Treasury is nothing more than a facade with a relatively small hall once used as a royal tomb.-Nat Geo
There are dozens of tombs and other carved or constructed structures and sites within the city.
Where is Petra?
Itinerary and tips
By now I think you know how much I love Petra. I recommend visiting as soon as it opens at 6am, if you’re able to. I really wish I had done that. Here’s why:
- You’ll get it all to yourself
- Get to experience the city before it gets swarmed by tourists
- Walk through the Siq without waiting or getting bumped. As a reminder, the Siq are very narrow.
- Catch an epic sunrise!
- Explore before it gets too hot (bring lots of water)
- Petra is photogenic! Take some great photos without competing for the angle!
Another name for the city?
“Wadi Musa” is another name for the same place. Google Maps sometimes refers to it this way.