Petra was known as the capital of the Nabatean Empire and it was a kind of intersection between Asia and the Mediterranean Sea. Nabateans constitute the people who were living in Arabia and what is called Southern Levant (it alludes to the region bordering the Mediterranean, which is now composed by Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories and the southern part of Lebanon).
Thus, according to a guide for French people I met in my hostel: “the Nabateans were developing trade” in this area; spices were coming from India, silk from China, frankincense… He told me that it is easy to notice different styles in Petra because of the diversity of people passing by such as tourists, traders, caravans… Petra got first the influence of Nabateans, then it became a part of the Roman Empire and finally it received the influence of Byzantines.
At the end, the city was given up because of some geographic and natural problems: an earthquake destroyed the city and also because the trade was disappearing little by little as the routes changed. Yet, in 1812, a Swiss rediscovered the city what made Petra famous again from the tourists’ point of view.
Marcin, a Polish tourist I spoke with about Petra, told me: “it is very nice; that is why I came back” and “the architecture is amazing for 2000 years, whereas in Poland we can’t build a road which would last more than twenty years”. Diane coming from New York City in the United States simply said: “I love it” and after a moment she added “Actually, this my third time here” and her friend Lawrence from Washington D.C. completed: “She brought me back here to see it again”. For me, Petra is just magnificent for the various different colors of its natural rock and also because of the way it was sculpted years ago. Indeed, the red rock basically made by sandstone changes of color depending on the luminosity it gets… What remains very impressive to me is the path through the Siq, the treasury, the monastery, the view from the high sacrifice place, the lion, the green space close to the garden temple, and of course the STAIRS!
The top of the Monastery