The Renaissance Tomb in Petra was not actually built in the Renaissance! Like most of the structures in the ancient Nabataean city, it was carved out of the red sandstone cliffs in the late 1st century or early 2nd century AD. It gets its name from the magnificent facade that features intricate carved decoration.
Where is the Renaissance Tomb?
You won’t find the Renaissance Tomb on a regular walk through Petra. It is located in Wadi al-Farasa that is accessed from across from the Royal Tombs.
Pro Tip: You won’t see the Renaissance Tomb on a regular Petra group tour, but if you are on a private Petra tour you can ask your guide to take you there.
Wadi al-Farasa has several interesting tombs but it is less crowded than the main part of Petra and requires a long walk.
Pro Tip: This is a very enjoyable part of Petra with other interesting monuments including the Garden Temple, and the Lion Fountain.
What to See at the Renaissance Tomb, Petra
Renaissance Tomb Facade
The tomb facade measures 8 meters wide and 13 meters high. At the top of the facade is a triangular pediment decorated with three carved funeral urns. The pediment rests on an entablature (a horizontal band with decorative carvings) supported by two pilasters (columns that are carved onto the facade rather than being free-standing). The pilasters are topped with typical Nabataean capitals. The tomb’s name comes from the archivolt (ornamental molding that follows the curve on the underside of an arch) above the entrance. The archivolt is topped by an urn and is reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance style of architecture.
Pro Tip: Spot the remains of a carved water basin on either side of the facade. This would have been part of the Nabataean's ingenious water system.
Renaissance Tomb Interior
The interior of this tomb measures 7 meters by 8 meters. It was excavated in 2003 and contains 14 pit graves. Unfortunately, all the graves (loculi) were looted hundreds of years ago.
Pro Tip: Look out for the two tombs with unusual Nabataean inscriptions.
Plan Your Visit
- Open Times - Petra is open in summer from 06:00-18:00 and in winter from 06:00-16:00.
- Prices - Entrance to the Petra Archaeological Park is 90JD, with a discount for Jordan Pass holders. A Petra tour from Israel includes the entrance price.
- Average Visit Duration - The average time spent at the Tomb of Renaissance is 30 min. Take into account the time it takes to walk to the tomb.
- Popular Times - Petra group tours usually don’t go as far as the Renaissance Tomb so if you are traveling independently or with a private guide you can choose when to go there. You won’t find crowds at the Renaissance Tomb at any time during the day.
- Special Events - The tomb has no special events but the Petra Archaeological Park holds an evening show called Petra by Night, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 20:30.
- Petra Tours - Join a two-day Petra tour where you have a guided tour on the first day and the opportunity to explore independently on the second day and visit the Renaissance Tomb. Consider taking a Petra tour from Tel Aviv and seeing two countries in one trip.