Jordan / Petra Tour IV: The Treasury or Al Khazneh

Jordan, Petra This is a part of a series on Petra in Jordan (not possible to cover all in one post).

The most famed of Jordan’s landmarks is a mystery. Why was the Al Khazneh, or The Treasury, in the ancient city of Petra, built? No one knows for sure. But everyone wants to visit it when in Jordan. And for good reason.

It stands at the end of The Siq – dwarfing you as you step into the sunlight after a long walk in the gorge. Its façade is about 30 metres wide and 43 metres high – and intricately decorated with Corinthian capitals, decorative bands, figures and more, and crowned by a funerary urn (containing a Pharaoh’s treasure according to local legend). Scholars guess it may have been the mausoleum of an important Nabataean king, likely to be Aretas IV (9 B.C. – 40 A.D.), and subsequently used as a temple. One theory, not supported much, suggests it was the point to collect tolls from passing caravans. This could suggest the name given to it.

At the same it was discovered in 1812 by Swiss traveler Ludwig Burckhardt, a stream flowed through the Siq and in front of the Treasury.  The area, prone to flash floods, had resulted in tons of debris covering the plaza in front of the Treasury; archaeological excavations in the early 21st century has now revealed some of what lay below. Unfortunately one is not allowed to go inside anymore. If you get close to the building, you can see some steps going down to what is believed to be a tomb – but this too has been secured with an iron grill.

The crowds come in early to Petra – sensibly so, it is best seen in the morning light before the sun gets too high. People are all over – at the plaza, clambering on to cliffs, on benches meant for seating, perched on camels – and clicking away to glory. The foreground always has some camel ‘taxis’ passing by or just parked waiting for a customer.

The Treasury attained fame when it was featured in the Hollywood hit, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Sean Connery and Harrison Ford on horseback with the Treasury in the background sure gave a fillip to Jordan tourism.

Enjoy the images!

To read a piece on the restoration of Petra, click here (

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Jordan, Petra

Jordan, Petra

Jordan, Petra

Jordan, Petra

Jordan, Petra



  1. Hello from Holland.

    I have an odinary question. I m in a game in the netherlands and now we have the challenge to get a picture of the seven world wonders.

    But maybe this will be stimulating, of course you also can put a sign or form from your hotel/ business on it so when i win it will ben on a very good spread mobile network for mobile phones

    This week is a though one: I need recently taken pictures of the 7 world wonders. In order to prove that a picture is taken
    by one of the people in my network it is necessary to have the next items in the picture:

    · Of course the world wonder
    · A recent local newspaper
    · A sign or written on te paper with my network name on it which is WOXIEPROXY
    SO Here are the 7 wonders of the world:

    1 Chichén Itzá, Yucatan, Mexico
    2 Chinese Muur, China (GREAT WALL)
    3 Colosseum, Rome, Italy
    4 Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro, Brazilië
    5 Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Peru
    6 Taj Mahal, Agra, India
    7 The Treasury, Petra, Jordan

    pls visit my homepage

    HOPE U CAN HELP ME OUT, and if you can i will put your hotel pic on my site wich is recently visited by many participans all over the world right now. Just like is helping me out right now.

    Kind regards,

    Richard Weits

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