The Treasury - Al Khazneh, Petra

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  • end of siq left, treasury at right
    end of siq left, treasury at right
    by machomikemd
  • The Treasury - Al Khazneh
    by machomikemd
  • from the siq
    from the siq
    by machomikemd
  • antistar's Profile Photo

    The Treasury

    by antistar Updated Mar 10, 2014

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    Treasury, Petra, Midday
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    The first grand monument of Petra you see as you enter the city is the Al Khazneh (the Treasury). It's an incredibly sight as the view of it opens up exiting the last few meters of the Siq. Almost every tourist stops and staggers, catching their breath as they stand and stare at the vast building carved out of solid red stone.

    Despite its name it's actually a tomb, and one of clear Greek influences. The name "Treasury" came about because of a local myth that pirates hoarded their treasure inside the urn on top of the facade. In fact you can still see the bullet marks where the local Bedouins tried to crack open the urn with their rifles.

    Inside the Treasury you won't find the Holy Grail, as was depicted in Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark. Instead the insides are a lot less dramatic than the outer facade. Instead you will find evidence of a massive earthquake which struck the city, and if you are lucky maybe a Bedouin guard or two. They very kindly agreed to have their picture taken with me, but the light inside the Treasury was obviously bad, so not such great shots.

    To get the best pictures of the Treasury you need to arrive before 11am. As you can see from the pictures here, one taken at about midday, and the other at around 4am, the light bleeds from the chasm containing the Treasury before midday has even been reached. The same can be said for the rest of Petra, where the high sides and the mountains can make daylight end much earlier than you would expect.

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    The 1st sighting seems to get everyone excited!

    by angiebabe Updated Jan 30, 2014

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    the first sighting of the first building 'The Treasury' after walking with great anticipation down through the 1-2 kilometres of ancient access route into Petra, known as 'The Siq' is an exciting moment!

    ...certainly see the numbers stop to get their shots!

    and then into the opening with exhileration....

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  • xaver's Profile Photo

    Ladies and Gentlemen....

    by xaver Written Jan 8, 2014

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    The Treasury:
    After the long walk along the Siq, finaly it appears the pride and glory of Petra: the treasury. The architetural style of it was unique in the ancient world. It is a mainly Hellenistic but with a touch of Nabataean style. It was built in the first centyry BC as a thomb of a Nabaetan king.
    Its measures that still do not give the idea of the view you get once you are there are: 30 meters wide and 43 high.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Main Draw of Petra

    by machomikemd Written Aug 28, 2013
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    Part 2 of my two part tip with more pictures of the Treasury Building.

    I would admit that a major part of my desire to go to Petra is primarily to see the Al Khazneh (treasury building) as it was the setting of the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The treasury building is actually a burial chamber but was mistaken by the local bedouins as a treasury building (that is why the name is al khazneh) and they believed that there was treasure at the urn symbol at the top of the treasury buidling and that it why it had lots of bullet holes as the bedouin tried to shoot the urn symbol in the hope that the treasures inside will be opened. However, in reality the urn represented a memorial for royalty. The Treasury consists of two floors with a width of 25.30 meters and a height of 39.1 meters. The Treasury comprises three chambers, a middle chamber with one on either side but visitors are not allowed to enter inside at present hence I don't have pictures of the inside. The treasury building at the end of the siq is actually just the start of the large petra archeological park.

    according to wikipedia:

    Al Khazneh was originally built as a mausoleum and crypt at the beginning of the 1st Century AD during the reign of Aretas IV Philopatris.[1] Its Arabic name Treasury derives from one legend that bandits or pirates hid their loot in a stone urn high on the second level. Significant damage from bullets can be seen on the urn. Local lore attributes this to Bedouins, who are said to have shot at the urn in hopes of breaking it open and spilling out the "treasure"—but the decorative urn is in fact solid sandstone). Another is that it functioned as a treasury of the Egyptian Pharaoh at the time of Moses (Khaznet Far'oun).[2]

    Many of the building's architectural details have eroded away during the two thousand years since it was carved and sculpted from the cliff. The sculptures are thought to be those of various mythological figures associated with the afterlife.[3] On top are figures of four eagles that would carry away the souls. The figures on the upper level are dancing Amazons with double-axes. The entrance is flanked by statues of the twins Castor and Pollux who lived partly on Olympus and partly in the underworld.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Made Famous by Indiana Jones

    by machomikemd Updated Aug 28, 2013
    panoramic view
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    This will be a two part tip with more pictures of the Treasury Building.

    I would admit that a major part of my desire to go to Petra is primarily to see the Al Khazneh (treasury building) as it was the setting of the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The treasury building is actually a burial chamber but was mistaken by the local bedouins as a treasury building (that is why the name is al khazneh) and they believed that there was treasure at the urn symbol at the top of the treasury buidling and that it why it had lots of bullet holes as the bedouin tried to shoot the urn symbol in the hope that the treasures inside will be opened. However, in reality the urn represented a memorial for royalty. The Treasury consists of two floors with a width of 25.30 meters and a height of 39.1 meters. The Treasury comprises three chambers, a middle chamber with one on either side but visitors are not allowed to enter inside at present hence I don't have pictures of the inside. The treasury building at the end of the siq is actually just the start of the large petra archeological park.

    according to wikipedia:

    Al Khazneh was originally built as a mausoleum and crypt at the beginning of the 1st Century AD during the reign of Aretas IV Philopatris.[1] Its Arabic name Treasury derives from one legend that bandits or pirates hid their loot in a stone urn high on the second level. Significant damage from bullets can be seen on the urn. Local lore attributes this to Bedouins, who are said to have shot at the urn in hopes of breaking it open and spilling out the "treasure"—but the decorative urn is in fact solid sandstone). Another is that it functioned as a treasury of the Egyptian Pharaoh at the time of Moses (Khaznet Far'oun).[2]

    Many of the building's architectural details have eroded away during the two thousand years since it was carved and sculpted from the cliff. The sculptures are thought to be those of various mythological figures associated with the afterlife.[3] On top are figures of four eagles that would carry away the souls. The figures on the upper level are dancing Amazons with double-axes. The entrance is flanked by statues of the twins Castor and Pollux who lived partly on Olympus and partly in the underworld.

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  • wandering360's Profile Photo

    The Khazneh

    by wandering360 Updated Nov 28, 2011

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    The Khazneh

    The "Treasury" was built some time between 100 BC to 200 AD. It is 40m high and is adorned by a 3.5m high urn which people once believed to have hidden the wealth of the Nabateans - hence the name, the Treasury. (Over the years, people have taken shots at the urn in the hopes of breaking it open but it is solid rock.) However, its true use was probably as a temple or tomb. (BTW, the rooms inside are unadorned and usually do not bare any inscriptions.)

    The above photo was taken in 1997 so here's a 2011 update:

    An archaeologist realised (from examining the gradient of the road in the Siq) that the ground level would have been significantly lower 2000 years ago. In 2003, they dug around the front of the Khazneh and discovered another level 6 metres below the "entrance" of the Khazneh.

    They discovered 4 burial chambers with the bones of 11 individuals and the artifacts dated to the first century AD. So they believe that the Khazneh was built during the reign of the Nabtean king Aretas IV (Petra's the most successful ruler -- over 80% of Nabatean coins found bear his image).

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  • Gili_S's Profile Photo

    Al Khazneh

    by Gili_S Updated Jan 2, 2011

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    Petra's most famous and known site is the Al Khazneh, it is about two thousand years old and it was carved into the canyon rock. What people might not know that it is just burial chamber and not a temple or such, probably this one was a one of a rich and important person of that time.

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  • TravellerMel's Profile Photo

    The Treasury

    by TravellerMel Updated Oct 12, 2010

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    The Treasury Facade

    Al Khazneh ("The Treasury") is one of the most elaborate buildings in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra. As with most of the other buildings in this ancient town, this structure was carved out of a sandstone rock face. It has classical Greek-influenced architecture, and it is a popular tourist attraction.

    Many of the building's architectural details have eroded away during the 2000 years since it was carved and sculpted from the cliff. Others have been defaced, likely by Muslim vandals after the Islamic Renaissance. The sculptures are those of various mythological figures associated with the afterlife.

    There are burial chambers on either side of a ramp which were excavated in 2003.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Al Khazneh - The Treasury Square

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Oct 2, 2010

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    The Treasury Square
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    The Treasury's façade has two levels, decorated with columns, classical rooflines and badly weathered sculptures. Perched atop the façade is an eagle, a Nabataean (and Greek) male deity symbol.
    The central figure on the upper level tholos may be the fertility goddess of Petra, El-Uzza (associated to the Egyptian goddess Isis). The vertical footholds on either side may have been made to aid the sculptors.
    The portal on the bottom level is reached by small flight of steps, and is flanked by mounted figures believed to be Castor and Pollux, sons of Zeus.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Al Khazneh - The Treasury inside

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Oct 2, 2010

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    Once you have adjusted to it's awe and beauty, have a look inside.
    A colossal doorway dominates the outer court and leads to an inner chamber of 12 square meters. At the back of the chamber is a sanctuary with an ablution basin (for ritual washing), suggesting that the Treasury was a temple or some other kind of holy place. The chamber can no longer be entered, but it is possible to look in from the doorway.

    There is a funerary urn at the top of the Treasury which according to local legend conceals pharaoh’s treasures.
    It is unknown as why Al Khazneh was originally built, probably between 100 BC and 200 AD. Its Arabic name Treasury derives from one legend that bandits or pirates hid their loot in a stone urn high on the second level.
    There are burial chambers on either side of a ramp which were excavated in 2003.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Al Khazneh - The Treasury

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Oct 2, 2010

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    Al Khazneh - The Treasury
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    As you come to the end of the Siq, the first and greatest monument of Petra slowly comes into view. The Siq opens up onto Petra’s most magnificent façade - the Treasury or Al Khazneh. It stands at almost 40 meters high and is intricately decorated with friezes, statues and other features carved from the rock.

    Although the original function is still a mystery, the Khazneh is believed by many archaeologists to be the mausoleum of King Aretas IV (9BC- 40AD).
    Another is that it functioned as a treasury of the Egyptian Pharaoh of the time of Moses (Khaznet Far'oun).

    You can watch my 3 min 53 sec HD Video Jordan Petra part 4 Treasury out of my Youtube channel.

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  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Petra 5 - Al-Khazneh.

    by K.Knight Written Nov 13, 2009

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    Al-Khazneh, better known as "The Treasury."

    As you begin to emerge from the Siq, and you have walked almost 3 kilometers, you are met with one of the most impressive sites in all of Jordan. I stood there in the shade of the cliffs and simply gazed at this unique and ancient wonder of the world!

    The surroundings and everyone in view was simply dwarfed by this 30 meter wide by 43 meter high carving. It is impressive in status and I could not help but try and think of how impressive the Nabataen King was that inspired his people to carve such a grand and breathtaking monument.

    The façade is impressive in itself but the top of the structure is littered with bullet holes. A group of Bedouins were drinking and decided to use the large urn (Tholos) at the top as target practice. Some suggest that they thought the urn was full of gold.

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  • iblatt's Profile Photo

    The Khazneh: Amazing Nabatean Building &Its Secret

    by iblatt Updated Jul 28, 2009

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    The Khazneh, Petra
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    The Khazneh is this famous, monumental building hewn out of red sandstone, which welcomes you to Petra as the Siq canyon suddenly widens, and makes your jaw drop with amazement: There it is, the Khazneh, the symbol of Petra, symbol of the power, wealth and architectural knowldege of the ancient Nabateans.

    The building is 39m high, and was built 2000 years ago. The method of construction was ingenious: from the top down, starting from an horizontal slit at the top, then carving the contours of the building downwards, taking out thousand of blocks of sandstone, which were then used elsewhere in Petra to construct "conventional" buildings.

    It took careful, meticulous calculations to plan the Khazneh so that it didn't collapse from the weight of the huge sandstone masses. This proves that the Nabbteans were not just a nomadic people who led camel caravans through the desert, but developed the know-how and artistic abilities to enable the construction of the Khazneh.

    The facade was decorated with statues and reliefs of an eclectic nature: From Isis to Aphrodite and Medusa, Castor and Pollux; Ancient Greek and ancient Egyptian deities, with death as the central unifying theme. The bodily features of these sculptures were destroyed many hundreds of years later, after Islam had replaced the ancient cultures and religions in this part of the desert. The crude square holes on both sides of the Khazneh, all the way from the bottom to the top, were probably stone "ladders" belonging to this later period of "alterations".

    The purpose and role of this monumental structure remained elusive for many years. Although it was nicknamed "Treasury" there is no evidence for such a use. Impressive as the Khazneh is, it does not make sense that its role was just to impress everyone who entered Petra. The decorative motifs are all about death, but no tombs were found in the hall and two chambers of the interior. It was a brilliant Jordanian archeologist who figured out the secret of the Khazneh: He realized that according to the slope of the Siq canyon, its original riverbed must lie about 10m deeper than the ground plan of the Khazneh, so that there must be an underground level below the "plaza" in front of the Khazneh, all the way down to the Siq bedrock. His excavations revealed the subterranean chambers, which contained 11 tombs, probably those of the Nabatean king and his family.

    In short: an amazing building with an amazing story!

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  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    Al-Khazneh

    by PierreZA Written May 24, 2009

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    Treasury
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    After the amazing walk down The Siq, you are confronted with the amazing, overwhelming Al-Khazneh.
    This is most probably the most impressive building/monument in Petra.

    With the buzz of tourists, camels, donkeys etc, one almost get the feel of a town square. This is also the first restaurant/resting place you come across.

    The facade of Al-Khazneh is in full sunlight for only an hour a day. The colours of the sandstone changes quite a lot, depending on the light. So, do visit more than once.

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  • Aitana's Profile Photo

    The Treasury

    by Aitana Written May 9, 2009

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    The Treasury is the most known image of Petra. When you are crossing the Siqh, you look forward to reaching this place. Even though you have seen this picture hundreds of times, the moment you arrive and begin to see the Treasury is really magic.

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