Al-Khazneh – Petra

Al-Khazneh is the “pride and joy” of Petra and is by far the most beautiful and well preserved monument in the park. It was carved in the first century BCE as a tomb for an important Nabataean king. It was later believed to be used as a temple. The architecture is inspired from Hellenistic art styles. Notice that there are even sculptures within the building (4th photo). The entire facade is 30m wide and 43m high and cut into the red cliff behind it, showing just how artistic and genius Nabataean engineering was.

Al-Khazneh’s facade was prominently featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as the final resting place for the Holy Grail. Indiana Jones found a maze of cobwebs and knights inside the building, but the room behind the Treasury is actually quite small, cupless, and empty (7th, 8th photos).

The plaza area around Al-Khazneh is bustling with tourists, tent shops, and more pushy Bedouins trying to sell a quick ride on their camels (2nd photo). But the Treasury grabs your attention and holds it, making it very easy for me to ignore the Bedouin insisting that I wouldn’t make it to the Monastery and back before sundown. So we ignored him and after staring at the Treasury for another 20 minutes continued down towards…

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~ by jonathanmtsai on December 5, 2010.

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