Al-KhaznehApprox. Time: 2 hours
Activity Level: Easy to Moderate

By far the most impressive of Petra's many extraordinary monuments, the Al-Khazneh is carved entirely out of the side of a mountain. After winding around for 1.5 kilometers, the Siq suddenly opens upon the most impressive of all Petra’s monuments -al-Khazneh (Arabic for "the Treasury"). One of the most elegant remains of antiquity, it is carved out of solid rock from the side of a mountain, and stands over 40 meters high. Although it served as a royal tomb, the Treasury gets its name from the legend that pirates hid their treasure there, in a giant stone urn standing in the center of the second level. Believing the urn to be filled with ancient pharaonic treasures, the Bedouins periodically fired their guns at it: proof of this can be seen in the bullet holes which are clearly visible on the urn. Much speculation has gone into the barely distinguishable reliefs which can be seen on the exterior of the Khazneh, although consensus is that they represent various gods. The Khazneh’s age has also been debated, with estimates ranging from 100 BCE to 200 CE.

Courtesy of Israel Tourism Board