The narrow entrance to the town of Petra, this ancient civilisation in the desert of Jordan, is perhaps the world’s most famous.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
- Country: Jordan
- Date of Inscription: 1985
- Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 326:
“Inhabited since prehistoric times, this Nabataean caravan-city, situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, was an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. Petra is half-built, half-carved into the rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. It is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture.”
Here is an excerpt of what I wrote in my blog about my visit in 1986:
The rock is multicoloured, both in itself and in reaction to how the sunlight hits or doesn’t hit it. This combination of colours is also what makes Petra so unique. The kilometre long, narrow, entrance with mountainsides climbing up hundreds of metres, put visitors in the right mood before entering the wide valley. One may climb up on mountain tops to see the buildings they carved out there, or just enjoy the views of the desert-like area.”