Siq, Petra

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Al-Siq Canyon details

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Oct 2, 2010

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    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.

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    Bab as-Siq

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Oct 2, 2010

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    Bab as-Siq (Outer Siq)
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    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.

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    Al-Siq Canyon

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Oct 2, 2010

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    Al-Siq Canyon
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    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.

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    Street of Facades

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Oct 5, 2010

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    Street of Facades
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    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.

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    The Siq

    by diageva Updated Jul 19, 2004

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    Siq

    Over two kilometres is what you will have to walk between high pink, yellow, ochre walls to reach the famous Treasury, a narrow passageway where you will feel like in other world. I had the great luck to walk through these walls by the hand of a Bedouin friend that explained me about all we saw.

    At the entrance you can find the rests of what was an arch. Holes in the walls to keep treasures, a dam next to the at the entrance, dug channels of water running parallel to the Siq, animals and men and woman figures indicating where animals must drink or where should people.

    Try to find a moment to walk through this special place alone or with someone special. You will discover a different Siq.
    Thanks Bassem

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  • zumodemango's Profile Photo

    expecting the best

    by zumodemango Updated Sep 11, 2004

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    Siq

    In teh Siq, it's like a long garge, the stones change their colors dependending on the light. It amazed everytime , every instant you are there. The highness, the diferent changes make you feel insignificant. On the other side, i think in all the people who passed there before me.
    Everytime goose pimples and emotion and motion and hapiness. Now, i have in my mind last time i saw tresoury for siq, last Friday 31th June. It's like going back and forward because i remember perfectly first time i saw the tresoury from teh Siq, the first days of November 1999.

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  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo

    The Processional Way

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Jul 17, 2005

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    Entry to the Siq

    The Siq wasn't the normal way into Petra, but was the ceremonial entrance to the religious part of the town.

    It is lined with votive niches all the way; some of them have worn away.

    At the entrance there are "watch points" on both the left and the right hand sides; it is quite easy to climb up, especially the left hand one. In several places steps were cut to help.

    At the top there is a seat carefully placed in a hollowed out niche where there is always a breeze. You can often see the local men sitting there to cool down. It is even possible to be COLD up there, when it is sweltering on the ground.

    Posted by Lulu

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  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo

    The dam by the bridge

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Jul 19, 2005

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    Following the disastrous flood in 1963 in Petra, the authorities built a dam to deflect the water that used to flow freely down the Siq. They were surprised to find that the Nabateans had already done the same thing and had built a tunnel to control the water that comes down when it rains.

    The dam is just at the entrance to the Siq where the horses stop, and it is crossed by a bridge. A part of the dam is on the left of the photo. You can see the tunnel to the right; it is deceptive and further away than it looks and so it is much bigger. In fact from the floor to the roof it is about 8 meters high. The tunnel directs the water through a number of small valleys before it comes out in Petra not far from the Royal Tombs. Even with its height, it can still be blocked by fallen trees when there are floods.

    The tunnel directs the water through a number of small valleys before it comes out in Petra in front of the Urn Tomb.

    Posted by Lulu

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    The Siq - Entranceway to Petra

    by morgr Updated Nov 10, 2004

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    The Siq.

    The Siq will be the first thing you see upon arriving at Petra, well, apart from the ticket booth, but I think not too many people pay much attention to it.

    The Siq is a narrow (roughly) 1km long walkway through a gorge with walls probably 100m tall on either side. As you walk towards Petra, on your left hand side you may notice a bit of a dug out in the rock. This was used as a water-chanel to transport water to Petra. At the end of the Siq you will get your first glance of the Treasury and the classic photo op seen on my Petra intro page.

    Depending on what time you leave Petra (and what time of year you are visiting too I guess), it can be a bit of a challenge getting out through the Siq. If you think you may be leaving Petra after it's dark, as I did, bring a flashlight (torch) as there is no lighting whatsoever in the Siq and due to the tall walls, the moonlight does not get in too well. Also keep an ear out for horse hooves, every now and then they would come galloping by, and there being not much room in there, we kept having to stand close to the wall to allow it to pass.

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  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo

    Early morning magic

    by TheWanderingCamel Written Apr 5, 2005

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    Truly awe-ful

    First and foremost when planning your visit to Petra is to ensure that you get there as early in the morning as you possibly can. That way you stand a chance of experiencing the magical and awe-inspiring sensation of being on your own in the Siq. It's worth whatever it takes to get you up and out there first thing.

    leyle

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    Controlling the water

    by TheWanderingCamel Written Jul 15, 2005

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    Wadi Mousa seen from below

    The Nabateans were masters of water engineering and they completely understood that it was just as bad to have too much water as not to have enough!

    Petra is right at the bottom of a huge bowl in the hills; when you look up from the gate towards Wadi Mousa you can see that there are hills all around you.

    Whenever it rains all the water runs down all the little valleys, and ends up down in the site of Petra. This was one reason for the siting of the city, but the water has to be controlled.

    Posted by Lulu

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  • Cristian_Uluru's Profile Photo

    Djinn Blocks

    by Cristian_Uluru Updated Mar 31, 2005

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    Djinn Blocks

    Just few metres after the entrance to Petra there are these big Nabatean blocks. They are call Djinn but archeologists don't understand which is their meaning!! Maybe they are tombs or religious buildings to honour the Nabatean God Dushara.

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    • Archeology
    • Architecture

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    walk through the siq.

    by cachaseiro Written Oct 23, 2008

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    the siq
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    The sig is what makes Petra so much more special than other ancient sites.
    It´s a one and a half kilometer long narrow gorge that serves as the only entrance to Petra.
    It´s very narrow and steep and when you finally get to the end you are awarded with a fantastic view of the treasury.

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    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Djinn76's Profile Photo

    Bab Es-Siq - Aqueduct

    by Djinn76 Written Jan 2, 2005

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    In case you are wondering what is this kind of trench you can see at around 1 meter high in the rock, this is not a bank carved for the exhausted tourists, this is the aqueduct used by the Nabataneans. It was indeed the place of a long argyle pipe carrying water into the city.
    Of course when the Romans besieged the city, this is the first thing they destroyed…

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  • Cristian_Uluru's Profile Photo

    Al-Siq

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Mar 31, 2005

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    Al-Siq

    ...The Nabataeans and Romans sustained thier sophisticated civilisation through skilful water management that included advanced hydraulic systems to control the flow of water. On either side of the Siq are water channels with basins. The southern channel is hollowed out of the rock and was originally covered by sandstone and limestone slabs to prevent evaporation and contamination. The northern channel was made of interlocking terracotta pipes, parts of which can still be seen in situ.

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    • Archeology
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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