Jabal Al-Madbah – Petra

The hike up Jabal Al-Madbah is the most scenic hike in Petra. The trail was originally used by the Nabataeans as a processional route towards the High Place of Sacrifice. Along the way the road is filled with tombs and monuments, which could have terrified the victim of the sacrifice, but made the hike amazing for tourists.

The trail begins near the Colonnaded Street and rises up slowly, opening up to a valley of tombs (first two photos). You can see tombs upon tombs built on top of each other. The Renaissance Tomb (third photo and the fourth photo shows its interior), is an example of a highly decorated tomb. The trail continues flatly towards the tomb of the Roman Soldier (photos 5, 6, 7, 12), easily spotted and characterized by the busts of a Roman commander and his soldiers above the entrance. Nearby is the Garden Temple Complex (photos 8, 9), named after its terrace and cistern that held and distributed water to Petra from springs over 4km away. Some small shrubs still grow in the complex. The trail soon begins to rise and becomes steeper and steeper. Our only break was the Lion Monument (11th photo), a statue of a lion that used to be an ancient fountain that refreshed ancient hikers. The lion is associated with goddess Al-Uzza. Eventually the hike begins to flatten out to a plateau that offers an amazing view of the mountains around Petra (13 photo). Here hikers build tiny stone towers to show that they’ve ascended (my tower is shown in the last photo and it was by far better than the others heh). From the plateau we hiked up the last stretch to reach…

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~ by jonathanmtsai on December 5, 2010.

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