The Petra Monastery (Al Dayr)

About this place

Everybody knows Petra is one of those travel destinations that will take your breath away: The ancient Nabataeans people carved the Red City out of massive sandstone cliffs in the Jordanian desert over 2,400 years ago. Today the Petra Archaeological Park includes hundreds of monuments from different periods in history including the marvelous Monastery also known as Al Dayr. Apart from the Petra Treasury, Al Dayr is the most visited monument in Petra.

The Petra Monastery

The Monastery stands on a hill in the northwestern part of Petra apart from the other, more popular Petra sites. This means you’ll be able to get awesome shots of it without millions of tourists standing in your way. 

History of the Monastery at Petra

Al Dayr probably dates back to the middle of the 1st century AD and would have been built as a tomb or place of worship for the Nabataeans, an ancient Arab civilization that can be traced back to the 6th century BC.

The Nabataeans were skilled engineers and merchants who controlled the ancient trade routes that passed through Petra from the Arabian Peninsula to the Mediterranean. In the Byzantine era, the Monastery was probably used as a church.

In more recent history the Monastery at Petra was featured in the 2009 movie Transformers.

How to Get to the Petra Monastery

The Best way is to take the Shuttle to the Village of Little Petra, north of the Petra Archeological Park. There, you can take a 4X4 ride to the mountain range leading to the Monetary.

Next is a walk on the ridge, as you take in the amazing views; the path is easy and takes about an hour. There are plenty of refreshment stops and Bedouin tent stands on the way. After several stone steps, you'll reach the iconic Petra Monetary.