Petra: Jordan’s spectacular city of rocks of the ages
Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three...
The wind gently whistles across ever-changing shades of sandstone while colors adjust themselves to the movement of the sun as it makes its way across the ancient Jordanian sky.
Here the unseen hand of nature has sculpted the rock into an awesome, breathtaking adventure.
Centuries of rushing water flowed through the soft rock, penetrating ever downward through the earth’s crust. Though it was a natural phenomenon, the water surged as though it had some strange, mysterious purpose.
Whispering sands blow through a majestic canyon carved by wind and rain, caressing the stone into wild, fantastic shape and vast chasms.
The Bible called it Sela.
The ancient Nabataean tribe who built the city within called it Rekmu or Rekem.
Today it is called
The once hidden Nabataean city is located in southern
Weathered rock rounded by time leads the way into another world; a valley dominated by sheer cliffs that reach higher and higher the further you penetrate into the heart of the mountain. It is a ravine that does Indiana Jones proud; a living monument to rival anything from
At first your mind is dazzled by the sight, awed by the brilliance of the colors where a massive carving rises from a vertical rock-face into a perfectly proportioned sculpture. Bullet holes serve as a reminder of the many attempts to release the treasure which local legend claims to still be hidden within the recesses of the cave.
Sheltered from the damaging effects of wind and rain that could easily weather the soft sandstone, the treasury is the best preserved, and most spectacular monument, within the ancient city.
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