The mountains of Petra were transformed into intricate palaces in an effort to retain the rhythm of the natural landscape.
The monumental palaces carved out of stone in the city of Petra /
The West did not know of Petra until 1812, when Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss explorer, rediscovered the glorious city. It was founded in the seventh century B.C by the Edomites and its name comes from the Greek word for stone. The city would later become part of the Nabateosla commercial route connecting Egypt, Syria, Arabia and the Mediterranean. During the eighth century Petra was abandoned by its inhabitants due to changes in the commercial route and due to the area’s recurring earthquakes.
Petra is located in what is currently part of Jordan, in the valley of Wadi Araba, which expands between the Dead Sea and the Aqaba Gulf. The city’s ecosystem is permeated by sandstone, a detrital stone formed by sand that transforms structures into long lasting elements.
The place is essentially majestic. Its palaces and stone carved constructions appear to respect the natural environment. These are incredibly tall and stunningly carved buildings, whose interior is the hollow body of the stone mountains.
As subtle three dimensional drawings, adapted to the stone’s façade, these palaces represent an urban adjustment that imitates and inhabits the geological rhythm of the land; it is probably one of the few cities that have been adapted to blend in with their surroundings to such an exquisite degree. Additionally, Petra denotes impressive technological advances for its period, as is evidenced by its complex water-bearing system that provided its inhabitants with the vital liquid.
Since the city is located in the middle of the Arabian and African tectonic plates, this archaeological treasure is likely to undergo frequent earthquakes, however its stone buildings have fortunately retained their sophisticated discretion and magnificence, bearing witness to a mysterious and ephemeral culture —albeit, unforgettable, when embodied by this city.Tagged: trips and travelers, destinations, Petra