Saturday, 12 February 2011

"The Jordanian approaches circuit" - The afternoon of day 4 (Cont.)

The "Jordanian approaches circuit" - The afternoon of day 4 (Cont.)

Ad-Dayr (The Monastery) - Lion Triclinum - Byzantine Basilica (Petra Church)
The 25th of January 2011

The "Monastery",  (according to historians) almost certainly a temple dedicated to the Nabatean king Obodas I, who reigned in the first century BC to later be deified, recalls the Treasury in regards to its facade, though the proportions are not the same (its width being greater than its height). The fact that it has a wide flattened plaza in front of it made it stand out in all its grandeur and it was hard not to be impressed by it for a number of reasons.

The facade of the Monastery  

Having left the Ad-Dayr behind we headed up towards a view point followed by another, but were to soon come back again, this time  along the path of Qsar al Bibt to visit the Lion Triclinium, a first century tomb which has two bas-relief lions guarding its entrance.

We continued climbing down a fairly difficult path to soon reach a flat area,  from where the Great Temple could be seen, as well as the East Cliff Royal Tombs in the distance  ... but  right there in front of me stood quite a few camels and camel riders, most probably waiting to take the "tired" tourists back to the  "Treasury" area ...

The East Cliff tombs (Top picture right).
The Great Temple (Left).The southern slopes (Right).

We continued heading towards the Churches' area in the northern slopes to vist the Blue Church and the Ridge Church, though our main interest was the  late fifth century tripartite Byzantine Basilica (commonly referred to as Petra church) floor mosaics, which we confirmed to be superbly detailed, as well as interesting, particularly the ones in the south aisle depicting the seasons, though some mosaic sin the north aisle were also worth noting (such as the camel-like giraffe).

The modern shelter protecting the Petra church and some of its floor mosaics

We finally headed towards the East Cliff to "explore" the Royal Tomb facades which look astonishing enough from a distance ...I don't know what to expect ... and although I am finally beginning to feel the tired, I don't want to miss them ...

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