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  • Day4

    Street of Facades

    October 8, 2018 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Continuing in the direction of the city, we go through the part of the Wadi Musa valley known as the Outer Siq. This stretch of road is also known as the Street of Facades, because of the amount of Royal tombs that align it.

    To the right, the great massif of Jebel Al Khubtha looms over the valley. Within its west facing cliffs are burrowed some of the most impressive burial places in Petra.

    Known locally as the Treasury, this tomb is where most visitors fall in love with Petra. The Hellenistic facade is an astonishing piece of craftsmanship. Although carved out of iron-laden sandstone to serve as a tomb for the Nabataean King Aretas III, the Treasury derives its name from the story that an Egyptian pharaoh hid his treasure here (in the facade urn) while pursuing the Israelites.

    Some locals clearly believed the tale because the 3.5m-high urn is pockmarked by rifle shots. As with all rock-hewn monuments in Petra, the interior is unadorned. It's 40m high and 28m wide. They started carving it from the top down, so as not to damage it.

    Petra is also known as the rose-red city, a name it gets from the wonderful colour of the rock from which many of the city's structures were carved. The Nabataeans buried their dead in intricate tombs that were cut out of the mountain sides and the city also had temples, a theatre, following the Roman annexation and later the Byzantine influence, a colonnaded street and churches.

    In addition to the magnificent remains of the Nabataean city, human settlement and land use for over 10,000 years can be traced in Petra, where great nature, cultural, archaeological and geological features merge.
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