Petra is archaeological site in Jordan, Middle East. Petra is one of the seven wonders of the world and offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- The Treasury
- The Siq (a gorge that formed when tectonic forces broke the mountain in 2)
- Street of Facades
- Hike through Petra
- The Royal Tombs
- The Colonnaded Street
- The Great Temple
- The Monastery (Al-Deir)
Petra is a huge site and if you really want to take your time and study every detail I’d recommend a 2-3 day trip staying at a nearby hotel in Wadi Rusa. If like me a day is enough time then you can visit on a day trip from Amman or Madaba.
The Siq is a split in the mountains and also the entrance you’ll walk through to enter Petra. The Siq was created when tectonic forces cause the mountain to split in two. The height of the gorge is well over 100 meters and is the perfect build up to your first glimpse of the famous Treasury.
Famous movies filmed in Petra are;
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- The Mummy Returns
- Transformers – Revenge of The Fallen
- Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
- Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
The famous British travel show, an Idiot Abroad also made an episode in Petra.
We’ve all seen a picture of the Treasury somewhere before but the question remains, what is it? The treasury was calved into the rock in 100 BC as a tomb for the Nabataean King, Aretas III. The Nabataeans were a people whose kingdom stretched across Arabia and the capital of the kingdom was Raqmu (now know as Petra).
Where is the best place to photograph the Treasury? My answer would be right in front of it with a fish eye lens (above). If you don’t have a fish eye lens it is possible to climb the mountain opposite and the best time to do this would be at sunset.
As you walk from the treasury to the royal tombs (above), you’ll pass the street of facades and a huge theater. Virtually everything you see you’ll want to photograph so make sure you have enough battery and memory. The royal tombs are the tombs of Nabataean royalty, royalty not as important as the Nabataean King, Aretas III who has his tomb in the Treasury but still important enough to have a tomb built.
From the royal tombs you walk on the colonnaded street to the great temple (above) which is estimated to have been built at the end of the first century. It’s the largest structure at Petra covering around 7500 square meters. This temple was only discovered in 1992 so is a reasonably new attraction at the Petra site and it’s still being excavated to this day. From the great temple it’s quite a walk to the monastery but worth it for the photo opportunities on the way there and of the monastery itself.
Petra can be very hot, especially in summer, there are plenty of places to buy water as you are walking around. Water is not the same price at every place, so shop around.