Friday, December 4, 2009

Al-Khazneh - the Treasury

The Al-Khazneh is a spectacular monument, and the first thing that the visitor sees as you leave the As-Siq. Actually, you get a hint of this immense carving as you near the end of the long walk. Between the massive walls of sandstone, glimpses of the building come into view. Stepping out of the passageway, the full view of this building is spectacular. The structure is an imposing, 30 m wide and 43 m tall. It is exquisitely carved. The top portion was inspired by the Greeks, with various stylistic choices and statues - including Amazons! The middle section shows the Roman influence with more carvings followed by the great, stately carved pillars out front. Spectacular at any time but even more so when you realize that these were carved out of sandstone in about 200 BC! It was originaly carved as a tomb for an important (I'd say) Nabataean king. They believe it might have been used as a temple at a later date.

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