NEWS ALERT: Petra in Jordan is more than one temple. WHO KNEW? Not me!
Petra is an entire city complex with multiple temples carved into the mountainside and the remnants of external structures too.
Whichever way you enter, the city of Petra is enclosed by towering rock paths. Protected by this rock, Petra would have once have been an almost impenetrable fortress. Visitors enter through the gorge, which was once formed by water flow. The colours are magical.
Then comes the monument that everybody knows: The Treasury.
The Treasury is spectacular, I can understand why it’s the favourite image. But there is still so much more to Petra.
Walk further along, and there are countless tombs carved into the mountain. One of them belongs to Moses’ brother.
There’s also an amphitheatre, the remains of a burnt church and ‘an altar of high sacrifice’. The map did not state what was likely sacrificed at the altar, just that there were ‘sacrifices’. The absence of explanation for what was sacrificed means that you can probably assume the worst.
Further down from here, there’s another four temple carvings along the mountainside.
If you stand in front of them, you will see an incredible view of the valley. The setting looks bizarrely similar to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA. You could shoot a Western here and no-one would know the difference!
The beauty of colour continues.
And then comes the exhausting, 1000 stair climb.
But at least the views remain beautiful.
And then you make it to the last temple! The Monastery!
We are jumping for joy at relief to have made it! Woo!
You can also choose to continue forward from the Monastery to a higher lookout point where apparently you can see a panoramic view that spans all the way to Israel, but we couldn’t make it that far. It’s a long journey. We made it to the Monastery after 18,000 steps. And this journey is not a circle! From the Monastery, you have to walk your 18,000 steps back through the site.
It was spectacular and I can’t encourage you enough to visit.
Are you like me, or did you know Petra was more than one temple?