Photo of the Week

The Treasury as seen from the Siq

Nikon D70, 12-24mm, December 2004

 

Petra is the treasure of ancient world, hidden behind an almost impenetrable barrier of rugged mountains, boasting incomparable scenes that make it the most majestic and imposing ancient site still-standing nowadays.

Petra is considered the most famous and gorgeous site in Jordan located about 262 km south of Amman and 133 km north of Aqaba. It is the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in southern Jordan more than 2000 years ago. Admired then for its refined culture, massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels, Petra is now a UNESCO world heritage site and one of The New 7 Wonders of the World.

The approach through a kilometer long, cool, and gloom chasm (or Siq) a long narrow gorge whose steeply rising sides all but obliterate the sun, provides a dramatic contrast with the magic to come. Suddenly the gorge opens into a natural square dominated by Petra’s most famous monument, The Treasury (El-Khazneh), whose intricately carved facade glows in the dazzling sun.

More facades beckon the visitor on until the ancient city gradually unfolds, one monument leading to the next for kilometer after kilometer. The sheer size of the city and the quality of beautifully carved facades is staggering and leads one to reflect on the creativity and industry of the Nabataeans who made Petra their capital.

For me, Petra was breathtaking, and I will never forget my initial reaction as The Treasury came into view from the Siq.  I hope to return soon with better camera equipment than I had in 2004.