History of Petra Jordan

Petra is a gorgeous and valuable treasure and undoubtedly Jordan’s most famous tourist attraction. Petra, in Greek, means rock and no words can describe it better than the poet Dean Burgon’swho described Petra as “a rose-red city, half as old as time” in a sonnet he wrote about this marvelous old city.

Petra is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and now also, a UNESCO world heritage site.

History of Petra

More than 2000 years ago, around the 6th century BC, the Nabataeans, a nomadic and industrious Arab community settled in southern Jordan and gave us a legacy, called Petra. Petra was a caravan city, and occupied an important place in the trade route that linked India, China and Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome and silk, spice and other objects passed through its rocky roads.

Petra Jordan

Petra Information

Location: Ma'an Governorate, Jordan
Coordinates: 30°19′43″N 35°26′31″E
Elevation: 810 m (2,657 ft)
Settled: 7000 BC
Built: 1200 BC
Visitation: 580,000 (in 2007)
Governing Body: Petra Region Authority
Petra UNESCO World Heritage Site
Type: Cultural
Criteria: i, iii, iv
Designated: 1985 (9th session)
Reference #: 326
State Party: Jordan
Region: Arab States
Website: petrapark.com

Jordan Information

Capital Amman
31°57′N 35°56′E
Official Language(s) Arabic
Spoken Languages Arabic, English, French, Circassian, Levantine Arabic, Chechen, Turkish
Demonym Jordanian
Government Constitutional monarchy
 -  King of Jordan Abdullah II
 -  Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit
Jordan Independence
 -  End of British League of Nations Mandate
25 May 1946 
Jordan Area
 -  Total 92,300 km2 (111th)
35,637 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 0.8
Jordan Population
 -  July 2010 Estimate 6,407,085 (102nd)
 -  July 2004 Census 5,611,202 
 -  Density 68.4/km2 (131st)
138.8/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $34.528 billion 
 -  Per Capita $5,644 
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $27.527 billion 
 -  Per Capita $4,499 
Gini (2002–03) 38.8 (medium) 
HDI (2010) + 0.681 (high) (82nd)
Currency Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Time Zone UTC+2 (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) UTC+3 (UTC+3)
Drives on the Right
ISO 3166 Code JO
Internet TLD .jo, الاردن.
Calling Code 962

Entering Petra

Petra is a rugged city carved into rock. You enter Petra through a narrow gorge, the Siq. The Siq is a little more than a kilometer in length; on both sides of it soar 80-meter high cliffs, whose colors and forms will dazzle you and make it a walk to remember.

The Beauty of Petra

The first building you will see at the end of the Siq is the Al-Khazneh, the treasury. It is the tomb of an important Nabataean king. A masterpiece of architecture, you will see a dusky pink rock façade, 43 meters tall whose intricately carved walls gleam in the sunlight

A walk through Petra will leave you mesmerized for there are more buildings, temples, arched gateways, streets, tombs, baths, obelisks, sacrificial altars and funerary halls. Then there is a Roman-style theatre that could seat 3000 people. There is the Ad-deir monastery that will leave you spell-bound. In all, there are more than 800 monuments! Then there are also 2 museums - the Petra Archaeological Museum, and the Petra Nabataean Museum, that house finds from the archaeological excavations in Petra.

Tips to Make a Visit to Petra Enjoyable

Carry water; wear comfortable clothes and shoes and a hat for the long walk. Motorized vehicles are not allowed into Petra but you could hire a horse or a horse-drawn carriage to take you through the Siq. You could hire a donkey or a camel inside the site that will take you through a designated route.

Petra Entrance Fee / Admission

Entry Ticket (JD) ServicesTicket (JD) Total AdmissionRate (JD)
1 Day 21 29 50
One day visitor to Jordan 21 69 90
2 Days 26 29 55
3 Days 31 29 60

Petra Hours / Visiting Timings

  • Open 06:00 am - close 16:00 (winter time)
  • Open 06:00 am – close 18:00 (summer time)