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Al Khazneh "The Treasury" | The Siq | Ed-Deir or Monastery | Petra churches | Qasr al-Bint Temple Complex | Great Temple complex | High Place of Sacrifice trail | Al-Khubta Mountain trail | Wadi Muthlim - small Siq

Al Khazneh "The Treasury"

From the Wikipedia: Al Khazneh ("The Treasury"; Arabic: الخزنة‎) is one of the most elaborate temples in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra. As with most of the other buildings in this ancient town, including the Monastery (Arabic: Ad Deir), this structure was also carved out of a sandstone rock face. It has classical Greek-influenced architecture. 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. 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). 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. 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. There are burial chambers on either side of a ramp which was added in 1938.
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