Friday, June 14, 2013

Petra | The Rose City in Jordan

The strikingly beautiful desert city of Petra is chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the "28 Places to See Before You Die." This place is established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans. Petra's location between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea made it an important center for commerce, where Arabian incense, Chinese silks, and Indian spices were traded.

Due to its breathtaking grandeur and fabulous ruins, Petra was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.Petra is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Another name for Petra is the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved. This capital city  had a sophisticated system of dams and channels for collecting, diverting, and providing water to the arid region.

Petra was the impressive capital of the Nabataean kingdom from around the 6th century BC. The kingdom was absorbed into the Roman Empire in AD 106 and the Romans continued to expand the city. An important center for trade and commerce, Petra continued to flourish until a catastrophic earthquake destroyed buildings and crippled vital water management systems around AD 663. After Saladin's conquest of the Middle East in 1189, Petra was abandoned and the memory of it was lost to the West. Petra is a symbol of Jordan, as well as its most-visited tourist attraction.

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