The Seven Pillars of Wisdom is the largest, most famous rock formation of the otherworldly Wadi Rum. These are seven distinct elements that seem like they're leaning and supporting each other (an awesome life lesson, for a rock).
Visitors say it's a must-see for every visitor to Jordan; The tranquil, colorful desert around it creates a special atmosphere that is hard to explain - But the pics they take are just spectacular.
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (by David Stanley CC BY 2.0)
History of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Jordan
Geologists say the Seven Pillars of Wisdom's peak exposes just how old this formation is. It's compiled of the two most prominent rock types in Wadi Rum: Quartz Sandstone from the Paleozoic era – half a Billion years ago, and under it, there's a layer of granitoids from the Precambrian era, over 4.5 Billion years old.
The massive rock was named after Thomas Edward Lawrence's book "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph"; the writer knew the area very well; He was the famous "Lawrence of Arabia", British leader of the Arab uprising against the Othman Empire in 1916.
The rock formation from distance. The view is just Martian (by paalia CC BY 2.0)
The local Bedouin had a less distinguished name for the rock: In ancient times, remote and secluded mountain ranges were considered dangerous and were given names to represent possible risks in order to discourage the populous. So this Majestic rock was called Jabbal Al-Mazmar, or "the mountain of Plague". Don't worry, it's just a name.
Where is the Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock?
The rock formation towers over its surroundings in the northwest of the wadi, and is very hard to miss; this is one of the first things you'll see when arriving at the Reserve.
It’s located 3km Northwest of the Alameleh Inscriptions site, and less than 2km from the Martian-looking Wadi Rum Big Red Sand Dune. Most Wadi Rum Tours will take you there, and you'll shoot some incredible photos; somehow, the Seven Pillars of Wisdom just can't look bad in pics.
What to See and do at the Seven Pillars of Wisdom
The Wadi Rum Area is filled with beautiful spots such as the famous Um Furth Rock Arc, and the Red and Yellow dunes. Southeast of the mountain you'll find the Mushroom Rock, as well as some historically interesting spots like Lawrence's House.