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city of petra

A city carved in stone

Petra is an important archaeological site in Jordan and the capital of the ancient Nabataean kingdom, whose inhabitants called it Raqmu. The name of Petra comes from the Greek πέτρα meaning stone, and its name is perfectly suitable; it is not a city built withstone but, literally, excavated and sculpted into stone. The Nabataens who built Petra cut it into the sandstone surface of the mountains rather than building freestanding monuments. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'} p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'} The settlement of Petra is located in a narrow valley, east of the Arava Valley that stretches from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. The most famous remains of Petra are undoubtedly its buildings carved in the same rock of the valley and, in particular, the buildings known as the Khazneh (the Treasury) and the Deir (the Monastery).

The city of Petra is deep in a valley, and a narrow gorge must be crossed to reach it. Its hidden nature helped to keep it safe from outsiders.And when the city was abandoned in the seventh century, its location made it fall into oblivion. This was until the beginning of the 19th century, when the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt "rediscovered" it.Then the work began to restore this wonder.

The Nabateans took astronomical movements into account when building their buildings. Thus, one of the curiosities of Petra is that the monastery is looking at the sun so that during the winter solstice the rays can enter through the door and illuminate the altar.

One of the curiosities of Petra is the use made of water. Due to the way in which it was built, the city enjoyed enough drinking water, for its population and for the merchants who every day crossed in caravan there.This was undoubtedly one of the secrets of the expansion of the city. It was a double-edged sword, however, as Petra's location also meant that it was prone to floods. Part of the city was destroyed in these floods.