“There are no words to describe this place.”
“This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen.”
“It was the best money I have ever spent.”
Literally carved directly into vibrant red, white, pink, and sandstone cliff faces, Petra is one of those places where descriptive superlatives fall far short of the experience of being there.
The Rose City
Twice I’ve been on tours to Petra – one of the seven wonders of the ancient world – and I imagine future trips would not diminish its attraction.
On both tours our Jordanian guides noted the “Rose-Red City” is a honeycomb of hand-hewn caves, temples, and tombs carved from blushing pink sandstone in the high desert of Jordan more than 2,000 years ago.
The raw beauty of Petra is what draws in so many millions of visitors. Located amid rugged desert canyons and mountains the entire city of ruins is a work of art, painted on a natural stone backdrop that changes color every hour.
The Bible And Petra
Petra was in the ancient land of the Edomites, who were descendants of Esau. Israel and the Edomites were in constant conflict through the centuries and in the 8th century BC, Israeli king Amaziah defeated the Edomites and took control of Petra (2 Kings 14:7).
For centuries the city seemed secure in its unassailable fortress of rock but the prophet Jeremiah declared the unimaginable – that Petra would become uninhabited (Jeremiah 49:16-18).
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
Petra is best known as a backdrop for several scenes from the Hollywood blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
The movie’s fictional Canyon of the Crescent Moon was modeled on the eastern entrance to Petra, a 250-foot-high sandstone slot canyon known as the Siq that leads directly to Al Khazneh (the Treasury)—perhaps the most stunning of Petra’s dozens of breathtaking features.
A giant urn carved above the entrance to the Treasury bears the marks of hundreds of gunshots. Bedouin tribesmen living in and among the ancient ruins say the damage was caused when local men would open fire with rifles, seeking the loot thought to be inside the urn.
Valery and Dailan Filippov were on the 2017 Team to Israel/Jordan. Many of the pictures in this post were taken by Valery – thank you for sharing them. See the full collection on his photography site.
You are invited to attend an Info Night on Monday March 27th at 7:00pm at North Pointe. Members of the 2017 Team will be sharing their pictures, videos and memories of their experiences.
APPLICATION: What’s your favorite picture? We are planning a third trip to Israel/Jordan in April 2019. Saving now for the trip could be one of the best decisions you ever made. More info on March 27th and on North Pointe’s website as it becomes available.
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