The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

PBPL 85 tours Petra, Jordan

PBPL 85 participants in front of the treasury facade in Petra, Jordan

PBPL 85 participants in front of the treasury facade in Petra, Jordan

Article Type 

Saturday, Dec 12th was spent being completely enchanted by the ancient city of Petra, the capital of the Nabataeans. One of the world’s largest archeological wonders, Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After breakfast at the hotel, the class walked a minute to the entrance of Petra. Our tour guide led us through the city and explained the history as well as ongoing archaeological work at Petra. The elaborate designs carved into the rock, the ingenious water system, and the stunning red sandstone were truly remarkable. After following the siq (or gorge) entryway, we came to the magnificent treasury. The treasury facade is decorated with figures and is also famous for its role in the third Indiana Jones movie. Near the treasury, we also noticed a tent with security forces inside of it and found out that an unidentified VIP would be visiting Petra later that day. After passing the treasury, we stopped at the royal tombs, and a theater that is carved into a mountain. The class also explored a tomb with fantastic acoustics. Inside of the tomb, our tour guide urged the class to sing a song. We settled on “Happy Birthday” and sang to one of our classmates who turned 22 years old today (Happy Birthday, Nick!). Then, the class sang a rousing rendition of the alma mater in the tomb, which was unfortunately followed by a more musically inclined group.

We next visited a church that was likely built in the end of the 5th century AD and looked at the preserved floor mosaics. Hungry from all of the walking, the class stopped at a café with a beautiful view of Petra to have lunch. After lunch, we climbed up 999 steps to reach a Monastery and a fantastic view of Petra (according to the signs, “the best view in the world”). We descended down the stairs and some members of the class opted to take camels back to the treasury. We all walked on foot from the treasury to the entrance of Petra and went back to our hotel. We ate dinner together in the hotel and worked on the memo for the rest of the night.

Close
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences