Petra, meaning stone in Greek, is a historical and archaeological city in Jordan. Petra is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water condit system. Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah, the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO Worl Heritage Site since 1985.
"It seems no work of Man's creative hand,
by labour wrought as wavering fancy planned;
- But from the rock as if by magic grown,
eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!
- Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine,
where erst Athena held her rites divine;
- Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,
that crowns the hill and consecrates the plain;
- But rose-red as if the blush of dawn,
that first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;
- The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,
which Man deemed old two thousand years ago,
- match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,
a rose-red city half as old as time."
John William Burgon, Petra