Siq, Petra

5 out of 5 stars 65 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Siq
    by machomikemd
  • Siq
    by machomikemd
  • Siq
    by machomikemd
  • xaver's Profile Photo

    The Gorge

    by xaver Written Jan 8, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    siq
    2 more images

    This is the ancent main entrance to Petra.
    An impressive 1200 meters long gorge of stunning beauty. Along the siq there are peakes up to 80 meters high.
    Walking through the Siq you get to see bizarre looking geological formations, colorful rocks, terraces, water channels cut into cliffs.
    It's a long walk but I would reccomend to not take horses or donkey at least on the first round as it is descent and the walk is an amazing experience.

    Related to:
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Main Entrance to Petra 2

    by machomikemd Written Aug 28, 2013
    me at the final walk to al khazneh
    4 more images

    Part two of my 2 tip with more pictures around the Siq.

    The Siq is located after a 600 meter walk along the Bab Al Siq or the Gate to the Siq in Arabic and at the end, at the start of the Narrow Canyons and in front of the Nabatean Dam reconstructed along the Canyons, lie the entrance to the Siq itself. The Siq criss crosses around the narrow canyons of Petra and ends spectacularly in front of the Treasury Building (Al Khazneh). At the beginning of the Siq, one can still view the remains of the city’s gate. On both sides of the Siq, there are channels to draw water from Wadi Musa (the Valley of Moses), from outside the city to the inside. The Siq is about 1.2 kilometers long (3/4 th mile) and measures 160 meters in length, 3 to 12 meters in width and reaches up to 80 meters in height. The main part of the Siq is created by natural rock formation and the rest is carved by the Nabataeans.

    according to wikipedia:

    Unlike slot canyons like Antelope Canyon, which are directly shaped by water, the Siq is is a natural geological fault split apart by tectonic forces; only later was it worn smooth by water. The walls that enclose the Siq stand between 91–182 m (300–600 feet) in height.[2]

    The entrance to the Siq contains a huge dam, reconstructed in 1963 and again in 1991, designed to bar the mouth of the Siq and reroute the waters of Wadi Musa. The dam is a fairly true reconstruction of what the Nabataeans did to control Wadi Musa between the 1st century BC and the beginning of the 1st century AD. The entrance also contains the remnants of a monumental arch, of which only the two abutments and some hewn stones of the arch itself have survived. The arch collapsed in 1896 following an earthquake, but its appearance is known from the lithographs of David Roberts.[2]

    The Siq was used as the grand caravan entrance into Petra. Along both walls of the fissure are a number of votive niches containing baetyli, which suggest that the Siq was sacred to the Nabatean people. In 1998, a group of statues were uncovered when digging was conducted to lower the road by more than six feet. Although the upper part is greatly eroded, it is still possible to recognise the figures of two merchants, each leading two camels. The figures are almost twice lifesize.[2]

    Along the Siq are some underground chambers, the function of which has not yet been clarified. The possibility that they were tombs has been excluded, as archaeologists find it difficult to believe that they were dwellings. The majority consensus is that they housed the guards that defended the main entrance to Petra.[2]

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Arts and Culture
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    The Main Entrance to Petra 1

    by machomikemd Written Aug 28, 2013
    4 more images

    This will be a two part tip with more pictures around the Siq.

    The Siq is located after a 600 meter walk along the Bab Al Siq or the Gate to the Siq in Arabic and at the end, at the start of the Narrow Canyons and in front of the Nabatean Dam reconstructed along the Canyons, lie the entrance to the Siq itself. The Siq criss crosses around the narrow canyons of Petra and ends spectacularly in front of the Treasury Building (Al Khazneh). At the beginning of the Siq, one can still view the remains of the city’s gate. On both sides of the Siq, there are channels to draw water from Wadi Musa (the Valley of Moses), from outside the city to the inside. The Siq is about 1.2 kilometers long (3/4 th mile) and measures 160 meters in length, 3 to 12 meters in width and reaches up to 80 meters in height. The main part of the Siq is created by natural rock formation and the rest is carved by the Nabataeans.

    according to wikipedia:

    Unlike slot canyons like Antelope Canyon, which are directly shaped by water, the Siq is is a natural geological fault split apart by tectonic forces; only later was it worn smooth by water. The walls that enclose the Siq stand between 91–182 m (300–600 feet) in height.[2]

    The entrance to the Siq contains a huge dam, reconstructed in 1963 and again in 1991, designed to bar the mouth of the Siq and reroute the waters of Wadi Musa. The dam is a fairly true reconstruction of what the Nabataeans did to control Wadi Musa between the 1st century BC and the beginning of the 1st century AD. The entrance also contains the remnants of a monumental arch, of which only the two abutments and some hewn stones of the arch itself have survived. The arch collapsed in 1896 following an earthquake, but its appearance is known from the lithographs of David Roberts.[2]

    The Siq was used as the grand caravan entrance into Petra. Along both walls of the fissure are a number of votive niches containing baetyli, which suggest that the Siq was sacred to the Nabatean people. In 1998, a group of statues were uncovered when digging was conducted to lower the road by more than six feet. Although the upper part is greatly eroded, it is still possible to recognise the figures of two merchants, each leading two camels. The figures are almost twice lifesize.[2]

    Along the Siq are some underground chambers, the function of which has not yet been clarified. The possibility that they were tombs has been excluded, as archaeologists find it difficult to believe that they were dwellings. The majority consensus is that they housed the guards that defended the main entrance to Petra.[2]

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Arts and Culture
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Petra Water Channels

    by machomikemd Written Aug 27, 2013
    4 more images

    The Nabatean Civilization were experts not only in carving desert architecture in Petra but also in channeling water from the wadi musa spring into Petra Proper (which is a good 5 kilometers away) via water channels and pipes which were carved from desert limestone rocks. you can still see traces of these water channels in areas of the Siq and on the Street of Facades. The remains of their innovative networks of water capture, storage, transport, and irrigation systems are found to this day throughout this area. and the tour guides will show you some of these water channels and cisterns.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Maria81's Profile Photo

    The Siq

    by Maria81 Written Apr 25, 2011

    What?

    Almost a mile long, the Siq is the main tourist route into Petra. The winding tunnel is actually not a tunnel at all, but a fissure in the rock, widened by tectonic plate movement. Widening and narrowing, sometimes it's only about 5 feet wide

    Visiting

    Most of the tourists walk this route to the Treasury, although horses and donkeys are available for hire. It's an easy walk, which is only made challenging in the extreme heat, and even then, the walls of the Siq do provide plenty of shade.

    The winding path through the Siq helps build anticipation for one's first view of the Treasury (or Al-Khaznekh), for when it will finally appear through the crack in the Siq. Once it does, this is the iconic photograph of Petra everyone will be trying to take – difficult given the crowds, but doable, if you show enough patience.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Gili_S's Profile Photo

    Siq

    by Gili_S Updated Jan 2, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Siq is the name of the last leg before approaching the famous Al Khazneh. It is in the lower part of the canyon and very narrow part of it, you will slowly proceed and then suddenly you will notice ahead of you the famous beautiful site.

    Was this review helpful?

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Walking down through the narrow valleys of rock

    by angiebabe Updated Oct 26, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Walking down through the valley or rock with exciting anticipation of arriving at The Treasury - Petra!
    Its about half an hour or so of gentle slope from the entrance through the Siq walkway down to the Treasury - with all sorts of interesting rock formations, carvings into the rocks, cut outs that look like they were places to keep lanterns to light the way at night - and even statues in the rocks

    Have your camera ready for this part of course

    - remember then that its another half an hour or so of uphill to get back out again!...in addition to the potential hours walking around the Petra site

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • TravellerMel's Profile Photo

    Walk Through the Siq

    by TravellerMel Updated Oct 12, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Entrance to the Siq
    1 more image

    The Siq is the main entrance to the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. The dim, narrow gorge (in some points no more than 3 meters wide) winds its way approximately one mile and ends at Petra's most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (The Treasury).

    The Siq is a natural geological fault produced by tectonic forces and worn smooth by water erosion. The walls that enclose the Siq stand between 300-600 feet in height.

    Local people will offer horse-drawn carriage rides and camel rides for the one-mile trek thru the Siq. If you have difficulty walking, this might be the best option for you, but if possible, I recommend you walk it. There is much to see along the way (especially if you have a good guide) including sculptures, aquaducts, tombs, etc. But walking it makes so much sweeter that first glimpse of the Treasury through the last of the narrow gorge.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Desert

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Street of Facades

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Oct 5, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Street of Facades
    4 more images

    This is a row of monumental Nabataean tombs carved in the southern cliff face of the Outer Siq. The facades are crowned with corner crow-steps, pilasters and cavettos.
    As the Outer Siq opens out, the Street of Facades becomes visible. Whole streets, 4 rows, one above the other, of Assyrian type monuments with double bands of crow-step decoration run along the cliff face. It isn't known whether these served as houses or tombs but they appear to be of an early date.

    You can watch my 3 min 34 sec HD Video Jordan Petra part 5 Facades street out of my Youtube channel.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Bab as-Siq

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Oct 2, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bab as-Siq (Outer Siq)
    4 more images

    After entering the gate in Petra, and before you reach the Siq, you walk through an area called ‘Bab Al Siq’, Arabic for gateway to the ‘Siq’. There are several monuments of note along the way starting with three massive Djinn or god blocks, the Obelisk Tomb and the Triclinium below it with an ancient bilingual inscription.

    While the horse riders and buggy riders go trotting past, those walking can stop and view the sites.

    You can watch my 3 min 39 sec HD Video Jordan Petra part 2 out of my Youtube channel.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Al-Siq Canyon details

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Oct 2, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    The Siq is a meandering path between beautifully-colored sandstone cliffs about 150m high on each side. Occasionally the path widens enough to allow in warm sunlight and even a tree; other times it becomes so narrow (as little as 2 meters apart) that the stone seems to block out virtually all heat, light, and sound.
    There are many things to see along the Siq. Take special note of how the water has eroded away the sandstone.
    Along the way are some small niches, shrines and carvings to investigate, and running alongside the length of the Siq are water channels carved by the Nabateans to provide water to the city of Petra.
    Check out some of the incredible colors in the red-rose rock mountains of Petra.

    You can watch my 3 min 32 sec HD Video Jordan Petra part 3 Siq out of my Youtube channel.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Al-Siq Canyon

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Oct 2, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Al-Siq Canyon
    4 more images

    This is a narrow gorge which leads visitors into Petra. It’s more than a kilometer long and opening up at the Treasury. As well as presenting a dramatic entryway into Petra, many relics can be seen in the Siq including a paved road and Nabataean sacred stones.
    The Siq itself begins where the path drops sharply down. The entrance to the Siq was originally marked by an ornamental arch; it collapsed in 1896, but its decorated abutments survive.

    The Siq is not technically a gorge, as it was formed not by erosion but tectonic forces, which caused the rock to split dramatically in half. It was only then that the waters of the Wadi Musa flowed in and the winds blew through the newly-formed gap, gradually rounding the sharp edges into smooth curves.

    Was this review helpful?

  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    The Siq - 3. The fossilized dolphin!

    by K.Knight Written Nov 13, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The fossilized dolphin

    As I mentioned above, all the way through the impressive Siq you are met with bizarre formations and breathtaking colors in the rocks. Approx half way through the Siq, before you get to the carvings of the camel caravans, you will see a fossil of a dolphin.

    Located on the left hand side as walk down, the dolphin is pointing up toward the sky and you can still see the backbone and parts of the skeleton. Many scientists say that this is proof that the entire area was once beneath the ocean before it was lifted up over millions of years.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Architecture
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    The Siq - 2.

    by K.Knight Written Nov 13, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    breathtaking colors in the rock formations
    1 more image

    All the way through the impressive Siq you are met with bizarre formations and breathtaking colors in the rock formations.

    You will pass three or four dams as well as several water harvesting system that were built by the Nabataean’s. There is also several water channels that were made from terracotta took the water from its origins approx 13 kilometers away to the town itself, approx 2 km’s below the bottom of the Siq.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Architecture
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Petra 4 - The Siq.

    by K.Knight Written Nov 13, 2009
    The shade of the Siq.
    2 more images

    At the end of the 1600 meter to the entrance to the Siq you will need a short break to cool down! This is where the cold bottle of water comes in handy that you purchased at the entry gate. Unless you arrive here at mid day you will have shade from the 80m high cliff walls that form this narrow ancient entrance to the city.

    I sat here and watched as the horse and carriage drivers approached the people that were getting off the horses. Arguments were breaking out because the “tourists” felt that the horse ride would take them to the end of the Siq….not the start of it! Now the carriage drivers want US$30 for the horse drawn carriage ride through the Siq. (Another tourist rip off!)

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Architecture
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Petra

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

62 travelers online now

Comments

View all Petra hotels