This exciting session covering Petra has been designed to complement Arabic learning in schools, and is part of a series that serves to give students an insight into different incredible highlights in the Arab world. Besides visiting this fascinating Wonder of the World, students can take the opportunity to practise their Arabic language skills with our bilingual guide.
The city of Petra was built by the nomadic Nabataeans in 4th century B.C., by directly cutting into the pink rocks and mountains of the region, and carving beautiful buildings into them. The sunken city once had temples, tombs, caves and residential dwellings that were full of life. While most of the buildings are hewn into cliffs, some distinct features can still be identified. The influence of Roman architecture, through Corinthian columns and even the amphitheater, is the most prominent. Because of its geographical location between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea, Petra was perfect link for camel caravans traversing Egypt, Syria, Arabian lands, and even Greece. Their proximity to the water bodies also propelled them to develop an ingenious system for transporting water all through the city.
As we approach the entrance, a narrow gorge through the mountains, prepare yourselves for a sight to behold. You will suddenly be face to face with one of the most beautiful pink stone facades you would ever see – the Treasury. We then take you through the Street of Facades and the Royal Tombs, both of which consist of uniform carvings to hold many mausoleums. If it weren’t for 19th century archaeologists poking around the region, Petra would have continued to be abandoned as a necropolis. While walking through the many gorges of the region, the Indian Jones fans in the group, will certainly be able to relate to the rose-coloured facades of Petra seen in various scenes of the 1989 movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusader.