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Field Guide to Jordan
the MonastryA. Fakhouri

Al Deir (The Monastery)


Located in the west part of Petra, and accessible by the famous 800 steps, the climb sounds hard but you can have a rest anywhere on the way and enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding you all the way, you can see the Lion Triclinium on the way up, and have a break in the Qattar, the reward you get in the end of the climb is worth the effort, The Deir is one of Petra's biggest and most important monuments, carved in the third century b.c., the facade consists of very simple elements, the capitail and ornaments, the proportions, it is just perfect! its name (the monastery) comes from its function as a church in the Byzantean times. Just opposite to the Deir there is a cafe where you can have a good rest with a cup of tea or a cold drink.

detail of the MonastryA. Maani
Once you get to the Deir, you are five minutes walk away form a view point that oversees Wadi Araba, a perfect place to enjoy the sunset, a flashlight would be very helpfull on the way back especially in the Siq which will be very dark even with the moonlight.
view on Wadi ArabaA. Maani
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Qattar al DeirJ. Maani

Qattar al Deir


Qattar, is an Arabic word that comes from "qatra" which is a drop of water, it is a place where water is dropping out of the mountain, fresh and cold, creating a cool atmosphere even in the hot summer, there are lots of Nabataean inscriptions on the walls, some carvings and a room which could have been used as a bath. It is a three minutes climb from the main stairway that leads to the Deir, the stairs leading to the qattar are easy to miss, they are to the right side at the end of the horizontal walk after the fallen rock you walk under, it is a very calm place and very few people go there, to enjoy a peaceful half an hour or more, it is better to have as less people as possible!


the rockA. Fakhouri

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Lion TricliniumA. Maani

The Lion Triclinium


Is a small temple carved in a mountain with a facade that has two relief sculptures of lions facing each other, and two faces on the upper part of the facade, next to it there is a sculpture representing a god, and two tombs.

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