(click on the picture below for a tour of 10 panoramas)
Founded by the Nabataeans sometime around 300 BC, Petra sat at the junction of several caravan trading routes and prospered for hundreds of years as a trading city. Romans took control in 106 AD and further expanded its grand carvings and structures, but under later Byzantine rule the city declined as trade shifted to sea-based routes. A massive and destructive earthquake in 363 AD accelerated the fall of Petra and it sat mostly quiet until being rediscovered by a Swiss explorer in 1812. Now Petra is the most-visited tourist attraction in Jordan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.