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Petra Jordan BW 21.JPG
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
Reference 326
Inscription 1985 (9th Session)

Petra (Arabic: البتراء, Al-Batrāʾ; Ancient Greek: Πέτρα) is a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan.

It is in a basin among the mountains that run from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.

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 has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. UNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage".

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.

Al-Khazneh is one of the most elaborate temples in Petra. In 2007 Al-Khazneh was voted in as one of the New7Wonders of the World.

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