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18 fun facts about Petra in Jordan

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Petra is the absolute highlight of my journey through Jordan! Petra is the reason that I think you should immediately put Jordan on your bucket list. Jordan has much to offer tourists, but Petra is of unmatched beauty that you will not find anywhere else in the world. The ancient city is partially carved out of red rocks and is beautifully hidden in a gorge. Here you stand eye to eye with one of the most beautiful buildings in the world! The history, the architecture and the beautiful landscape make Petra one of the most special places in the Middle East.  What are fun facts about Petra?

Read on for 18 fun facts about the wonder of the world called Petra!

18 fun facts about Petra

1. Because of its historical importance Petra was placed on the Unesco World Heritage list in 1985. Unesco describes Petra as one of the most valuable cultural places in the world’s cultural heritage.

2. It has been named one of the new seven wonders of the world in 2007.

3. The city got his name from the Greek word “Petros” which means “stones”. The Arabic name is Al-Batra, but almost nobody calls it that.

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4. The nickname is the “pink city” because of the color of the sand and the stones.

5. It was discovered in 1812 by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt and this is a Swiss explorer.

6. Only 15 percent is currently being investigated by archaeologists and the remainder has yet to be discovered.

7. The Nabataeans have made the city of Petra an important hub for the trade in silk in spices. Petra was at a crossroads of the trade route between China, India, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Syria and South Arabia.

8. The city was founded in 312 BC and is therefore one of the oldest metropolises in the world.

9. There is evidence that settlements were present in Petra since 1550 and 1292 BC.

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10. It is one of the proofs that the Middle East was the most influential region in the world during the Middle Ages.

11. It was the city of merchants and a commercially lively city full of valuable treasures. Many of these treasures have been stolen over the years.

12. It is a huge city with tombs, monuments and sacred structures, all made of stone cliffs.

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13. There are more than 800 attractions in Petra, but the most popular is the Treasury and it is more than 2,000 years old.

14. The city  could not have existed in the desert without an ingenious water system. There was enough water for the 30,000 people who are supposed to have lived in Petra. Because of the ingenious water system, there was even enough water for the lush gardens.

15. It was once an important center of Christianity. It has a marble pulpit from the 6th century AD of the Byzantine church.

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16. In 363 AD, half of the city was destroyed by a number of heavy earthquakes. Many buildings and the important water systems were severely damaged.

17. To enter the city you have to walk 1 km through a narrow gorge with high cliffs of 80 meters.

18. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a famous American film, was filmed here.

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These are my fun facts about Petra! Do you have more fun facts about Petra?


Hotel Petra

A great place to stay is Petra Moon Hotel. The price and location are perfect and the Petra entrance is maybe 200 feet away. Staff was very kind and professional and they also helped us arrange our tours in Petra and to Wadi Rum.

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Petra Moon Hotel

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