Petra: “Rose-Red City Half As Old As Time”
Petra, “a rose-red city half as old as time,” is one of the world’s most famous rock-cut architectural sites. It was half-built, half-carved into the rocks and is surrounded by mountains dotted with passages and gorges. This ancient fortress is now in ruins and reportedly haunted with centuries worth of ghosts. Petra, Jordan, is situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, and inhabited since prehistoric times. In 1985, UNESCO designated Petra as a World Heritage Site.
Pliny the Elder and other writers identify Petra as the capital of the Nabataeans and the center of their caravan trade. Enclosed by towering rocks and watered by a perennial stream, Petra not only possessed the advantages of a fortress, but controlled the main commercial routes which passed through it to Gaza in the west, to Bosra and Damascus in the north, to Aqaba and Leuce Come on the Red Sea, and across the desert to the Persian Gulf.