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Petra
Arabic: 'al-batrā'





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Petra

This is the famous gate to Petra. After walking more than a kilometre of a narrow gorge, it opens like a miracle to the so-called Treasury. Petra, Jordan
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This is the famous gate to Petra. After walking more than a kilometre of a narrow gorge, it opens like a miracle to the so-called Treasury.

Overlooking the temple areas of Petra centre. Petra, Jordan
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Overlooking the temple areas of Petra centre.

The Palace Tomb is often neglected by those in a hurry. It should not, the climb up here is quite stunning. Petra, Jordan
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The Palace Tomb is often neglected by those in a hurry. It should not, the climb up here is quite stunning.

The tomb of Sextius Florentius is mainly interesting for its wide facade and one of the finest plays of colours in the rocks. Petra, Jordan
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The tomb of Sextius Florentius is mainly interesting for its wide facade and one of the finest plays of colours in the rocks.

Inside the tomb of Sextius Florentius, looking out. What is there in the far is the Petra city centre. Petra, Jordan
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Inside the tomb of Sextius Florentius, looking out. What is there in the far is the Petra city centre.

The Siq, the long entrance descending into ancient Petra. Petra, Jordan.
The foremost tourist attraction of Jordan, the Treasury. Petra, Jordan.


Ancient city in Jordan, west of the city of Ma'an in the southern part of the country.
The city is a former capital of the Nabateans, the Arab people dominating this region before the conquest by the Romans. The city was cut into the rocks, where many of the houses had intricate structures and columns. The approach to the town is through a ravine, at some points less than 4 metres wide. The name 'Petra' comes from Greek, and can be translated with "city of rock".

History
7,000 BCE: The first settlement here is believed to date back to this time.
4th century BCE: Petra becomes the capital of the Nabateans.
312: Attacked by Antigonus, who killed many of the women and children, while all men were absent.
106 CE: Conquered by the Romans. The Romans start constructing their form of city, with colonnaded streets, baths and theatres. Petra was included into the Roman province of Arabian Patraea.
2nd century: Petra has economic progress.
4th century: The rise of Palmyra results in a quick decline of Petra's importance, as there is no trade left.
7th century: Arab occupation, but by now Petra is only a small town.
12th century: Captured by the crusaders, who settled here and altered many of the buildings.
1812: Petra is "rediscovered" by the Swiss Johann Louis Burckhardt who experienced an understandable unwillingness of the local bedouins to have foreigners intrude into their areas.




By Tore Kjeilen