Petra facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsPetra
Tourists in front of Al Khazneh (The Treasury) at Petra
|Location||Ma'an Governorate, Jordan|
|Area||264 square kilometres (102 sq mi)|
|Elevation||810 m (2,657 ft)|
|Built||possibly as early as 5th century BC|
|Visitors||918,000 (in 2010)|
|Governing body||Petra Region Authority|
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|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Criteria||Cultural: i, iii, iv|
|Inscription||1985 (9th Session)|
Petra is believed to have been settled as early as 9,000 BC. It became the capital city of the Nabataean Kingdom. The Nabataeans were nomadic Arabs who used Petra because it was near the spice trade routes.
The Nabataean Kingdom became a client state of the Roman Empire in the first century BC. iIn 106 AD they lost their independence. Petra's importance declined as sea trade routes developed. Also, the 363 earthquake destroyed many structures.
The Byzantine Era led to the construction of several Christian churches, but the city continued to decline. By the early Islamic era only a handful of nomads lived in Petra. It stayed unknown to the world until it was rediscovered in 1812 by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.
Famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system, Petra is also called the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved.
Petra is a symbol of Jordan, as well as Jordan's most-visited tourist attraction. Tourist numbers peaked at 1 million in 2010. Tourist numbers in 2011-2012 declined due to political instability in Jordan. However, tourist numbers increased subsequently. About 800,000 tourists visited the site in 2018.
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Petra Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.