PETRA HAS BEEN described in National Geographic magazine as being "JORDAN's city in the rock." There is no doubt, however, that Petra, located south of Amman on a semiarid site at the edge of the Wadi Araba mountainous desert, is a wonder of the ancient world.
Originally developed at the crossroads of overland trading routes, Petra developed as the capital of the Nabatean Empire (c.
to 106 C.E.).
Utilizing the local sandstone rock faces-the colors of which vary from white to cream to red and brown- the Nabateans carved tombs and temples into the rocky outcrops.
Using their knowledge of hydraulic engineering the Nabateans cut water channels and tunnels into the rock so as to bring drinking water into the developing city from a local dam.
Entering Petra via a narrow channel (the Siq) between two large rock faces, the walkway leads directly to one of the city's most important former edifices, the 131-ft- (40-m-) high Khazneh (treasury), the front of which is dominated by a huge Roman portico.
Despite the remarkable exterior, the Khazneh's interior contrasts greatly and is simply formed.
The old heart of Petra lies on open ground around an area known as Wadi Musa.
A Roman roadway from the Khazneh leads to the area and is lined with impressive columns.
The Roman legacy can be further seen by the layout of a marketplace and amphitheater.
However, other prominent structures include the gateway of the temenos and temples such as Qasr-al Bint Firaun (the Castle of the Pharoah's Daughter) and the Temple of the Winged Lions.
Annexed by the Romans in 106 C.E., Petra slowly declined as a commercial center in the following centuries.
The arrival of the Byzantines in the 4th century did not greatly change the fortunes of the settlement, partly because of earthquakes and an economic lull.
Thus, at the end of the Byzantine Empire (circa 700 C.E.), Petra was in a poor condition, buildings were in near ruin, and the incredible dignity of the city established under the Nabateans was all but lost.
In the following centuries, the name of Petra was maintained in local folklore but lost to the West until 1812 when a Swiss explorer, Johann Burchhardt, discovered the ancient settlement.
Today, to protect the remaining city, the Jordanian government has moved the local Bedouin population to houses away from the historic core.
- You can now apply for Australian Visa through the Internet
"Country entry permit application has become facilitated and the procedure itself takes less time.
Starting from October 1 this year this new system allows to apply for visa online 24/7, including holidays.
Electronic system makes possible not to visit the consulate to apply for the entry permit and you no longer need to mail papers. Moreover, the authorized individuals for applying from the applicant are free to use this system to apply for a visa instead of the applicant.
You are able to verify your application status through the Internet and when you get the entry permit to Australia all the documents will be sent either to your e-mail address or by a registered letter on the mailing address specified in the application form. You will need to take the received document with you and be able to show it if needed. However, it is noted that the airline company will be aware whether you have got the Australian visa or not (airport staff have an access to the electronic data system, which will also include information about received entry permits) and therefore you may not show your visa at passport control and during the boarding. "
- Italian air traffic controllers are planning to strike
"The Italian air traffic controllers have reported about the upcoming strike that is scheduled on October 24, 2015. The airline employees will be striking between 10:00 and 18:00 as reported by local trade unions.
In case the event is not canceled, passengers may face flight delays or even cancellations. The tourists who plan either to leave or to arrive in Italy on 24th October it is highly recommended to verify their flight status online beforehand by visiting airport websites. "