Colonnaded Street, Petra
The Colonnaded Street was the dividing point of Petra when the Romans ruled Petra. At onetime the street was flanked by markets. All that remains of the markets and flanking temples that probably existed here are the columns and the paved stones along the street. From the end of the street you have an outstanding view of the The Royal Tombs as can see in this photo.
After a short walk from the Royal Tombs you arrive to the Roman town of Petra. The first thing that you see is the Cardo Maximus where you can see only few columns. It's probably was build at 106 AD on a Nabataean Road but there isn't the Decumanus. Along the street there there was the Upper Market, The Lower Market, the Royal Palace and the big temple. Now you can see only ruins of them.
This long way was the center of Petra in the past. There are colums and many archeolical pieces like the one in the picture. Archeologist were working last summer at the end of the street close to Temenos door.
Connecting the Royal Tombs with the central part of the site is the Colonnaded Street. It's a tough walk along uneven (and often missing) stones. The slowness of your progress along this street is taken advantage of by trinket sellers. I found it easier going to walk down the sides of the street, behind the crumbling colonnades.
From the King's Wall, next on the agenda is the heart of Old Petra. Walk down the Colonnaded Walk - Petra's main thoroughfare. Little remains of the columns, although these were added in Roman times approximately 100 AD. During Nabatean times, the 'walk' was certainly paved, but there are no remains to indicate what it was like.
Here, the old heart of Petra, was to be found two massive temples, the market place, the Nymphaneum and the forum. Walking from the King's Wall, the Great Temple and the Nymphaneum are the first two ruins you come across, sitting opposite each other. Only foundations remain of the Nymphaneum. Little more of the Great Temple remains, but it is currented being excavated by a team from Browns University. With the exception of the foundations and pieces of columns, little remains of the temple. But its upper platform provides great views across the valley floor.
Built in about AD 106 by the Romans only a few of the columns that lined it have been re-erected. Off the street there are the remains of the lower, middle & upper market. Even more impressive though is the remains of the Great Temple.
As you leave the theatre behind the path curves slightly round a corner and hits the beginning of Petra's paved 'colonnaded street'...the Roman Cardo Maximus.... which runs through what was once the city centre. It is an original Nabatean street but the Romans 'refurbished' it, lining its whole length with columns on both side, each column joined to the next with stone horizontals. The paving is cleverly laid to facilitate the passage of wheeled traffic and the surface curves slightly to allow drainage...both typical features of Roman roads.
Beyond the colonnade seems to be mostly an area of desolate nothingness, but that is simply because the vast, vast majority of the site has not yet been excavated. In Petra's prime, the 'colonnaded street' was lined with buildings, the land either side of it a seething maze of shops, houses, temples and public offices. The street itself was once lined with a vast range of one and two-storey shops.
The beginning of the street is marked by a nyphaeum, a public water fountain dedicated to the water nymphs (a commonplace Roman structure). It ends with the triple gate which leads to the temple of Qasr Al-Bint al-Faroun (the temple of Pharoah's daughter). Obviously the temple has nothing to do with 'pharaoh's daughter' as such (the name comes from a Bedouin folk-tale) although there an inscription on a statue base found on site named the daughter of a Nabatean king. It is a massive structure.
Quite a lot of the Temple was cordoned off when I visited, with some scaffolding in place and clearly undergoing repair and restoration. It's worth noting that it will take you at least an hour to walk back to the site entrance from this point (all uphill), and probably longer if you've arrived there at the end of a long day's exploration.
Or you can take a camel or donkey part of the way....... :-)
Only a short stretch of the Colonnaded Street remains of the 6 meter wide paved road in Petrea. It was constructed sometime around 106 AD, shortly after the Roman annexation of Petra. It replaced an earlier Nabataean track. Along the street you can still see the remains of the Upper Market, The Lower Market, the Royal Palace and the big temple.
This was most probably the street running through the central part of the town.
There were temples, baths, markets etc along the street.
The Temple provides great views back along the Colonnaded Walk, but it also provides welcome shade for humans and camels alike!