Once in Petra get a site map of Petra and look for JEBEL AL DEIR -- the Monastery ( it is almost at the other end of the path marked as #17, it is a long walk from the entrance.) and once you have arrived to the MonasteryTemple get ready to climb it. the Monastery (EL DEIR) measures about 40 meters by 50 meters just imagine I am about 1.65 meters so it is about 38 times taller than me.
Remember to get a before and after picture :)
because it is an incredible experience to go up the highest, largest and furthest temple.
Una vez que llegas a Petra pide un mapa de Petra y busca por JEBEL AL DEIR - el monasterio ( es mas o menos al final de la ruta y esta marcada como #17, es una caminata largisima) y una vez que llegas al Templo del Monasterio alistate para subirlo. El Monasterio mide 40m x50 m. Recuerda de tomar una foto antes y despues porque sera una experiencia increible. Pues es el mas alto, largo y el templo mas lejano
Don't spend 5 minutes gawping at the Monastery and then turn tround and go back down. The location is stunningly beautiful and in the late afternoon sun (the best time to visit the Monastery as it is the time of day when the sun hits the facade full on, but is at the same time losing its powerful midday bleaching affect) the shadows are softening the dramatic landscape around you. Walk 10 minutes away from the facade and you can find isolated spots and stare out across the Jordan Valley or back across over Petra.
50 metres high X 45 metres high, El Deir is an extraordinary monument. Cruder and more eroded than the Treasury (but relatively similar in design), it is nevertheless awesome in its magnitude and presence. (Look at yer man in the doorway - that'll give you some idea of the scale!). It's one of the older buildings in Petra - 3rd century BC.
Its not just the size that impresses, its the location - sitting as it does high above the city of Petra on one side and, amazingly, the Jordan valley on the other side.
But then, after one hell of a schlepp and a belief that you'll never make it, you walk through a tiny fissure high up in the hills of Petra, and there is one of the most extraordinary sights imaginable ( which is a hard call as another one of those extraordinary sights is below you - the Treasury building glimpsed through the narrow opening of the Siq)
It'a a hot and tiring 1 hour walk up the rocky steps to get to The Monastery. On the way you might see goats clinging to the side of the rock, or come up on a few women selling cheap trinkets. Higher up, there are some good views down, which give you an excuse for a rest stop. When you finally reach the top, you will have no doubt that the hike up was well worth it. The Monastery is an awesome sight ! You might want to have a well deserved drink at the simple cafe while you gawk at the impressive sight. You will find some other good views down if you walk around and explore up here, so stay for a while and enjoy yourself.
Quite possibly the most magnificent sight in all of Petra (it rivals the Treasury), it is also one of the largest. It was used as a biclinium for the meetings of religious groups and dates to the early 2nd century AD. During the Byzantine period it was used as a chapel which is where it gets the name monastery - "dayr" in Arabic.
If you have considered riding a donkey at any point, this might be a good time to do it (on the way up). It's not exactly an easy hike as there are a lot of stairs to take on the way up. 2/3 of the way up I was wishing I had taken the donkey.
Also as a matter of perspective. Take a look at the second picture. See right below the doorway? That is two kids on a donkey. That should help tell you how huge this place is.
Just a thought about getting to the Monastery. It is well over an hours walk and there are fairly steep stepped sections in someplaces. I found that the steps were very slippery and I was amazed as I watched the donkeys negotiate them with people on their backs. It was apparent that their feet slip on the stairs too. As we went higher we passed a number of places where the canyons dropped away alarmingly. At this point I was very happy that I hadn't chosen to go on a donkey, then again I think that every donkey in Petra was most happy that I hadn't chosen to ask for a ride. Have a look at the photo and you'll see what I mean by the steep cliffs just dropping away (ignore the fattie), oh and that is the path that I am standing on. So I guess I just wanted to recommend that you take the walking option up to the Monastery, there's a great sense of achievment when you get there and the way down is easy going.
With the Petra complex being fairly wide spread a lot of the experience is walking around the canyons and paths and finding new places of interest. The Al-Deir Monastery is a good hours walk from the Roman Road so be sure to take lots of water with you because the path is long and it does take you up to some high ground. I was counting the steps but got lost around the 600 mark. Thankfully there is a cafe for those in need of refreshments.
The monastery iteself is very striking. It is bigger than the Treasury but does not have as much decoration. Apparently it was used as a monastery during Petra's Byzantine Christian period. The impressive central doorway is over 8ms high. I've seen photos of people sitting on the central urn at the top of the facade but apparently this has been outlawed and for good reason, its about 45m above the ground.
The Monastery, along with the Treasury, is one of Petra's most recognisable structures. It is also one of the city's best preserved buildings.
The hike from the centre of Petra to the Monastery is hard work, and can take up to several hours. However, if you don't fancy the walk, you can hire a donkey to carry you up! We made the journey on foot, in a little over one hour, and the climb was certainly worthwhile!
As with the Treasury, the Monastery has been built into the side of the mountain. Even with today's advanced building techniques, this would represent a very impressive structure. That it was built many centuries ago, without the aid of tools, makes this an unbelievable architectural achievement.
The urn that stands on top of the Monastery has been damaged by people throwing stones at it to try and knock it off. This is because some believe it contains treasure!
The second most famous monument from Petra but maybe the most majestic. You should walk 800 steps up (ot take a donkey that will carry you) to get there. But the views from there and the nice landscapes that you see all the way up worth the time. The Monastery was built on the first century A.D. , excavated from the rock, with a big esplanade in front of it. It is 50 metres high and 40 metres wide, so it is bigger than the treasury. But it has only one big chamber. The whole structure is really spectacular, and some books say its style is of "antique baroque".
The Monastery (Ad-Deir), the largest carved monument in Petra, is similar to the facade of the Treasury and dates back to the 1st century AD. The interior was redecorated with carved and painted crosses in the Byzantine era, thus the English name for the place. If you walk about 100 metres more you will be presented with one of the most spectacular landscapes anywhere.
In 1990-91, an inscription was discovered near the Monastery. It referred to "the symposium of Obodas the God." Some archeologists believe that it was created as a meeting place for members of the cult of Obodas. Others feel that the structure may have been a tomb and monument used by the Obodas.
The wide space in front of it was carved out of the mountain side to make an impressive courtyard surrounded by a colonnade and with a round platform just outside, probably for making speeches. I have found a photo of a wonderful reconstruction of its probable appearance in the time of the Nabateans.
This followed in fact the invariable pattern of the great tombs in Petra: the Khazneh and the Roman Soldier's tomb both conformed to this general layout originally.
If you look carefully you will be able to find the remains of many of these columns on the right hand side when you are facing the Deir. They are clearly shown on the drawing made by David Roberts in 1839.
Posted by Lulu
The Monastery is huge, it is difficult to believe the scale from photos.
The temple is tucked into a corner of the cliffs with the great panorama of Wadi Araba below. You need to walk just a little bit further to see the view - but believe me it is well worth the extra steps!
Posted by Lulu
But don't be distracted by all these possibilities, turn to the right, past the Resthouse complex and the new museum; go over the bridge and follow the path to Wadi el Deir.
Innumerable children will offer donkey rides to climb the steps - you will certainly be told there are 400 of them, or even 800. I did count them once and decided that there were in fact about 300 of them, counting fairly and not including the tiny ones! That's plenty, and the Monastery which you are making for is some 200 meters up from the Qasr el Bint - you might well appreciate the donkey service.
Be sure to climb these steps in the morning: they are in shade then, which makes a tremendous difference, and by all means take advantage of the offers of refreshment on the way!
Take confortable climbing shoes, a remote control camera, tripode or pay a local climber (usually the donkey renters) to climb it with you so he can take a picture.
The Monastery -The Deir monument is 40.2 meters wide and is carved deep into the side of the mountain. It is super High, I do not know how hight but the door itself is 8 meters high. Compare the picture on my previous tip with the picture here. I am standing in the tip top of the monastery.
Just remember IT IS DOABLE
lleva zapatillas comodas pues el templo es 40.2 metros de ancho y es altisimo si solo la puerta es de 8 metros de alto. comparalo a la otra foto que puse en VT. en esta estoy en la mera punta del monasterio