Petra, Jordan is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture. The lost city of Petra – named as one of the new 7 Wonders of the World – is a majestic place that is thousands of years old, yet it still holds hidden secrets waiting to be unveiled.
The magnificent site has been recognized by UNESCO for its immense historical significance and outstanding cultural value. It is half-built, half-carved into the rose-red sandstone, and is surrounded by mountains dotted with passages and gorges.
Petra, Jordan. (Sam /Adobe Stock)
Features of the Rose-Red City
The name of the site is ‘Petra’, a Greek word meaning ‘Rock’, a nod to the way the city was built into the sandstone. In 1812 Petra was re-discovered by the first European, Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt , who had spent many years studying Arabic and the history of Islam.
The city of Petra is comprised of hundreds of tombs, houses, a theatre that could fit more than 3000 people, temples, obelisks, and altars where animals were sacrificed to calm the angry gods or ask them for favors. Only 15% of the city has been uncovered to date, the other 85% remains untouched, underground.