Nobody can stay indifferent in front of the great Palace Tomb of Petra: This ancient relic of the Nabatean kingdom is one of the most beautiful spots of the Petra Archeological Park and a must-see for visitors.
Like the other Royal Tombs in Petra, the Palace Tomb was built in the latter half of the 1st century AD, to serve as the last resting place for the most significant Nabatean kings. Just like the impressive Petra Treasury - the most famous structure of the park - This tomb was also carved into the cliffs and was influenced by Hellenistic designs - but here starts the difference: Not all of this tomb was carved, and researchers don't know why.
The first thing you'll notice about the Palace Tomb is the huge façade is 49 meters tall and 46 meters wide, which makes it one of the largest in Petra. It was constructed in three stories, and the top one reach over the cliff; it was built over the carvings, maybe to resemble a Hellenistic or roman castle.
While preserved brilliantly, the sands of time did grind the top of the structure, and several blocks fell from the top in the winter of 1988. UNESCO helped the Jordanian government in financing the building's conservation, for future generations to enjoy.
As you walk into the lower story, note its four shrines and paths of decorated columns leading into the tomb's four burial halls. The second story looks identical at first glance, but its columns are different, and you'll note the large square graves, carved into the walls like Petra's structures. Note that the light falls differently there, giving you a chance for some creative photography.
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