People, there are no pre-warnings that may save your shock for what you are about to see. As we exit the end of this long wavering path, called the Siq, we will see such magnificent carvings in sheer stone walls. You will be shocked to no means; you will be speechless in awe. Sixth century BC was the time period when Petra was alive and bustling. Nabataean Arabs lived here until the Romans took over. Crusaders built a fort in the 12th century and then withdrew, leaving the locals with the beautiful city. In the 19th century, an explorer named Johann Ludwig Burkhardt walked the same narrow path you are walking on now. This long, narrow, dusty path is the entrance to Petra. The Sandstone walls, if you look up, are the protection to the city of Petra. When the people who lived here built the buildings in the sandstone, they made sure to show many waves of colors in the architecture. The walls of the Siq we are walking now are lined with channels that were used to bring water to the city. This path was actually once paved, 5 meters wide, centuries ago. Amazingly enough, these people built their homes right in the giant cliffs of sandstone. As you can see, they built beautiful, elaborate temples, tombs, and houses. As we walk into the heart of the city, take in all of this beauty that is amazingly still here for us to behold today.
Author: John William Burgon
Name of website: Petra
Page or article title: Petra
Date of posting/revision: 1987-2001
Name of company/institution affiliated with the website: Humanitaire Francaise
Date visited site: 2/21/08
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