High Place of Sacrifice, Petra

4.5 out of 5 stars 23 Reviews

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  • Wadi Rum Desert on the rear view
    Wadi Rum Desert on the rear view
    by kharmencita
  • High Place of Sacrifice
    by barryg23
  • High Place of Sacrifice
    by barryg23
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    The High Place of Sacrifice

    by kharmencita Written Jul 18, 2012

    *****Way of to the summit of the Petra Mountain is a path where the Nabataeans curved out their most sacred open-air Altar where they performed ritual killings of animals as offer to their Gods. Before you can see this Altar you have to climb about 800 steps. You must be sport-minded. Please bring enough supply of water to drink esp. on summer. It is windy when you are at the top. Good hiking shoes is not bad. The way to it starts just close where the Amphitheater is. On the way up you will see two Obelisks carved by the Nabateaen to dedicate their two main goddesses: al- Uzza, the goddess of water and fertility and Dushara, the god of strength. When you are at the top of it you have the overview of the Wadi Rum which became more famous after the film Lawrence of Arabia.******

    The Sacrifice ALTAR On the top of the Sacred Sacrifice Altar Steps way up to the Top Wadi Rum Desert on the rear view Bedouin Mother and child selling souvenirs
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    A Time to Kill

    by wilocrek Written Apr 22, 2009

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    The High Places of Petra are a sight to see, for one thing the view from the top is incredible as it shows off the mountain range and terrain of Petra, and for another the places where the Nabetaeans preformed sacrifices are still quite visible. Its quite easy to imagine how a sacrifice might of gone down and that added to the incredible setting and view make the High Places a place to be. Its a solid 30 minutes hike to the top and the trail starts from near the Ampitheatre.

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    High Place of Sacrifice (Al-Madbah)

    by Blatherwick Updated May 31, 2006

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    I found the High Place of Sacrifice to be an interesting and fun place. Not only does it have the alters and stuff but it has great views as well.

    The high place has a large pool where rain water was collected and available for the priests. In front of the alter was a large open court with a strange ridge in the middle where something must have stood. Against the cliff are two alters.

    The alter on the far side may have been used for blood. As animals were sacrificed the blood was drained onto this altar. It appears to have run around the outside of the altar and then down the mountain.

    The main alter was for the burnt sacrifice. It contains several small steps and a niche where the fire could have been used. However, there are no evidences of fire at their altar or the other altars around Petra. Built into the two altars are wash basins.

    High Place of Sacrifice (Al-Madbah)
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    High Place of Sacrifice

    by JohnniOmani Written May 16, 2006

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    The High Place of Sacrifice is a true highlight of Petra because it offers some fascinating history along with argueably the best views of the entire site. The place is reached by stairs (45 minutes) from off the street of facades. It not overly challenging but half the fun of getting up there is the trek. The view offers a great shot of the colonnaded street and the royal tombs.

    View from the High Place
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  • The High Place of Sacrifice

    by RblWthACoz Written Apr 5, 2006

    Well after all that...I give you the High Place of Sacrifice. This cult complex is made up of several different things. The picture here is the rectangular courtyard. It was here that people made their pilgrimages and sacrificed animals.

    The High Place of Sacrifice

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    Obelisks

    by Blatherwick Written Aug 23, 2005

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    At the top of the mountain on the way to the High Place of Sacrifice (Al-Madbah) you will come to what is known as Attuf Ridge. On this ridge are two obelisks, such as are found in India. They are carved out of solid rock and are over 6 meters high. They have been noted as Nabataean as one of them still has the typical Nabataean style of haching (etching) on the side that is protected from the prevailing winds. The mountain has been cleared away by cutting and a flat surface surrounds the obelisks.

    Obelisks
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    The dripping well - a good place to picnic!

    by TheWanderingCamel Written Aug 7, 2005

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    It is possible to turn off these steps, perhaps two thirds of the way up, where a narrow track leads off to the right, while the main path turns sharply left. This brings you onto a wide ledge looking out over the valley below. Here you find Petra's dripping well in the Wadi Qattar.

    This place is cool even in the height of summer. If you have brought a picnic with you, and if you have avoided the tempting detours along the way here, this is a perfect place and time to have your lunch with cold water running nearby! On the way back perhaps, so that you don't have to push yourselves to finish the climb after eating.

    If you have have something in which to catch it, the water that drips down is pure and you can drink it with no fears of unfortunate effects - don't try this with the water on the ground though.

    Posted by Lulu

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    Wadi Farasa and the other tomb wall

    by TheWanderingCamel Written Aug 7, 2005

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    Everybody knows about all the tombs in the Street of Facades, opposite to the stairs to the High Place.

    But if you come down again by the "back way" past the Roman Soldier's tomb, there is another great collection of tombs there, which not many people get to see, although they are less than 50 meters from the main pathway.

    There's nothing very important here, but it's a good place for a rest and a picnic in the shade.

    Posted by Lulu

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    Coming down again the back way

    by TheWanderingCamel Written Aug 5, 2005

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    From the High Place if you take the back way down a long series of steps you will come out in Wadi Farasa, passing on the way the Garden Tomb and the Lion Fountain, and the Roman Soldier's tomb with its triclinium.

    The Garden Tomb is small and tucked away; it is close to the Lion Fountain and immediately alongside the large cistern mentioned below. It takes its name from the greenery surrounding it in the spring: there is a large tree and a carpet of grass in front of it. The Lion Fountain, incidentally was almost certainly a drinking fountain - a good place for it!

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    The High Place of Sacrifice

    by TheWanderingCamel Written Aug 5, 2005

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    If you want to detour away from the direct road down through the site (stairs are always alluring!) you will find that this particular climb is fairly straightforward, and you can marvel at the engineering abilities of the Nabateans who cut out the solid rock in several places to give easier access

    . It is unlikely that actual animal sacrifices were performed here - one can see the practical difficulty involved in bringing an animal to it! It has been suggested that human sacrifice was involved, but no evidence has ever been found of this practice in Petra.

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    The High Place, a Sacrifice Place?

    by Djinn76 Written Jan 2, 2005

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    A bit further, a few more steps to climb and you arrive at the top of the mount. There, you can see several pools carved into the rock. The place is called as well sacrifice place. However according to the experts these pools were not used to collect the blood from some kind of sacrifice but instead to collect the precious water…

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    High Place

    by Djinn76 Written Jan 2, 2005

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    Now that it was in sight I managed to get there relatively quickly! The first things to see are several obelisks built for a Nabatanean Venus. Only a couple of meters high, they are not so impressive at first sight! However what is much more incredible is that they have indeed been carved out of the mountain!! The stone around them has been removed.

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    Lost on the way to the High Place

    by Djinn76 Written Jan 2, 2005

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    Then that’s where it becomes messy! I’m still not too sure what you are supposed to do once you have climbed these stairs. Don’t trust the small little piles of stone you can see on the way! At the beginning I thought it was the local way to show which path to follow (a bit like the white and red painting tags along the GR paths in France), that could have been it but I suspect some tourist are also piling stones just for fun! In short they don’t lead anywhere.
    At some point I did regret not to have taken a guide. I can now understand why Petra remained undiscovered for so long!! After some time wandering around the mountains, I finally discovered the high place; it was on the mounts in front of me!!

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    On the way to the High Place

    by Djinn76 Written Jan 2, 2005

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    Another classical excursion is the walk until the High Place. Once you have seen the Monastery, this would be the second walk to do.
    Not so easy to find, when you come from the Kazneh, the path start on your left, 200 meters before the theatre.
    The first part is quite easy : a very long stair you could even start to climb at noon! Indeed at this time of the day most part of the stairs is in the shadows…

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  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo

    High Place Oblisks

    by freya_heaven Updated Nov 11, 2004

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    There are a few Oblisks both on the top of High Place of Sacrafice, and also along the south foot path on the way back down.
    Along with the Oblisks on the top are a few ruined buildings, it is thought this is where the priests lived.

    High Place Oblisks
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