Jordan

Petra – stairs to the Monastery

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Countless stairs, bends, chasms, the journey would seem long, but it is not so far. In addition, along the way we pass numerous, colorful stalls and fresh orange juice, which nowhere in Petra tastes better than here, on the stairs to the Monastery ­čÖé.

Monastery, carved deep in the cliff wall of the Jabal ad-Dayr is one of Petra’s largest monuments, measuring 47 m wide and 51 m high. It was built on the model of the Pharaoh’s Treasury. Originally in front of the facade there was a courtyard surrounded by a colonnade. The interior is occupied by benches and an altar, hence the supposition that it was used for religious purposes. It was constructed at the beginning of the 2nd century AD, during the reign of┬ánabataean King Rabel II. Additionally an inscription found nearby suggests that it may have been built in memory of king Obodas II. In Byzantine times, Christians re-used the building as a chapel and carved crosses in the back interior wall. That is why it was called Monastery (by Arabians).

The only thing to watch out for on the way to the Monastery are donkeys, carrying those lazy or weaker tourists back and forth. Once the donkeys gained speed they did not look like they wanted to slow down, skillfully beating the next steps. I must also admit that, those tourists had to have a lot of courage riding down on a donkey, because the stairs were very slippery.

 

Photographs of Petra

Carly BB

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