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For seven centuries, the real city of Petra was shrouded in mists of legend, its true existence a secret known only to the local Bedouins and Arab tradesmen. In 1812, a young Swiss explorer named Johann Ludwig Burckhardt heard locals speaking of the "lost city" hidden in the mountains of Wadi Musa. Disguised as a pilgrim seeking to make a sacrifice at the tomb of Aaron, Burckhardt bluffed his way through and caught a glimpse of the legendary Petra revealing its wonders to the Western world. Its notoriety in the 20th century and beyond has only increased; Petra was featured in the final sequence of Steven Spielberg's classic movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Much of Petra's appeal comes from its spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge. From the main entrance, you walk into the chasm, or siq, that ripped through the rock in a prehistoric quake. Petra is approached through a narrow, deep gorge or siq, which winds for about 1km through a massive wall of rock. This is at some points less than three metres wide and its vertical walls tower to a height of 70 metres, making Petra one of the best-defended cities of all time.

At the end of the siq appears the impressive monument of el Khazneh, the Treasury. This is an enormous royal tomb, which was carved out of solid rock in the side of the mountain. Beyond this, a stairway cut in the rock takes the visitor to rock-carved streets lined with hundreds of temples, royal tombs, large and small houses, banqueting halls, water channels and reservoirs, baths, monumental staircases, markets, arched gates, public buildings and paved streets.

This picture was taken in above mentioned desert gorge. Petra temples are quite well known however they dont tell you that you get there through such a lovely gorge. L.

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Additional Photos by Lucie CzNLUkKw (lucinka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 135 N: 1821] (9976)
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