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.
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.
It's a long steep walk; you'll need half a day. Do it in the morning to avoid the heat. The monuments up here are interesting and a bit different from the rest of Petra, but views are the most impressive thing. There are carved monuments on the sides of the mountains around, though most of them are difficult to reach. Take care not to lose your way if you walk out of the main path.
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.
The hike up to the top of the "High Places" takes about 1 and a half hours. This takes you to the High Place of Sacrifice.
It is a very flat plateau and there are altars up here with gullys to drain the blood away, of the sacrifice.
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.
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…
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.
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.
A bit further you have an impressive view on the classical site of Petra. You can admire from the top the site going from the Qasr El Bint to the royal tombs
At over 1000m above sea level and towering 200m above the Royal Tombs, the top of this 60x20m ridge has been quarried flat to make a platform for blood sacrifices.
The views from the High Place are just incredible. You get a birds eye view of Petra, and Wadi Musa. Fascinating to see all the roads & footpaths in the valley below.