It is an important archaeological site in Jordan , and the capital of the ancient Nabataean kingdom . The name comes from the Greek Petra p?t?a meaning stone , and his name is perfectly appropriate , it is not a city built of stone but literally , carved and sculpted in stone.
The settlement of Petra is located in a narrow valley , east of the Arava valley extending from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba . The most famous Petra ruins are certainly its buildings carved into the rock of the valley ( hemispeos ), in particular , the buildings known as the Khazneh (Treasury ) and the Deir ( the Monastery ) .
Founded in ancient times by the end of the seventh century . C. by the Edomites , was occupied in the sixth century . C. by the Nabataeans who made ??it prosper thanks to its location on the caravan route carrying incense , spices and other luxury goods between Egypt , Syria , Arabia and the southern Mediterranean .
Often described as the eighth wonder of the ancient world , Petra is without doubt the most precious treasure of Jordan and its most important tourist attraction . It's a huge city carved entirely on the rocks by the Nabateans , an Arab tribe hardworking who settled in the area over 2,000 years ago and became an important city of passage routes linking the silk, the spices and other connecting China , India and southern Arabia with Egypt , Syria , Greece and Rome.
The entrance to the city is through the Siq , a narrow gorge, over a mile long , surrounded by cliffs that rise up to 80 meters high . The simple act of walking through the Siq is an unforgettable experience . The colors and formations of the rocks are dazzling . When the end of the Siq catch your first glimpse the facade called Al- Khazneh (Treasury ) . '
Practical information about Jordan
- Area: 90,000 km ² ( the equivalent of Andalusia).
- Population: 5 million inhabitants .
Capital : Amman
- People: Arabs ( Bedouins 40 % and 60 % of Palestinians , many of them refugees from Israeli conflict ) , Circassians , Chechens and Armenians ( from the Caucasus in XIX century migrations )
- Language: Arabic, English
- Electricity: 220 V and 125 V , 50 Hz ( flat jacks )
- Weights and measures : Metric
- Currency: Jordanian dinar ( JOD ) equivalent to 0.91 Euros to March 2005
- Visa : A visa can be obtained at the border, at the airport of arrival or at the consulates in Jordan. They are valid for two weeks from the day of arrival , which could be extended to three months. The cost depends on the country of origin : travelers of certain nationalities can enter free of charge , the Spanish pay
Few place are evidence of evolution in the history of Jordan in a way so clear as in the case of Amman, where you can see, layer by layer, the various stages of metamorphosis in the city. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Ammon at the time of the Iron Age. It became, respectively, in a city helínistica, Roman, Byzantine, then, in the heart of the Umayyad province of Al-Balqa ', at a site of ruins and abandoned in the late nineteenth century in an Ottoman city. Today, is the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
In the commercial center of the city, rub shoulders ultramodern buildings, hotels, trendy restaurants, art galleries and boutiques with traditional cafes and craft shops. Any evidence the ancient past corner of the city.
Due to the prosperity we enjoy today the city and its temperate climate, almost half of Jordan's population is concentrated in the Amman area. Residential neighborhoods mainly consist of perfectly lined streets and avenues flanked by elegant white houses as a municipal law establishes the use of local stone on the facade of the houses.