The city of Petra is set against striking red sand stone landscape in the southern part of Jordan. It is known to be more than 2000 years old and has some remarkable rock cut monuments, mountains, dunes, valleys and gorges. The city shows a picture of the ancient religion with sacrificial sites, monasteries and more. In the later years Christianity also had its influence and there lived a prosperous Christian community. Petra is home to several churches which are of significance to the Christians all over the world.
Some accounts tell that Emperor Diocletian, in the beginning of the 4th century, was persecuted by the Roman Empire for refusing to offer sacrifice to Roman Gods. Even after this incident Christians continued to exist in the city and the city became an important site of Christian religion. The crosses inscribed on the sandstone walls indicate the large tombs on which churches were built. With time a large number of churches were built indicating the growing influence of the Christians.
What to see in Petra in this tour
Caesarea -Megiddo – Haifa – Acre
Caesarea the capital of Judea during the time of Romans is worth visiting. The excavated sites of the prehistoric city, Roman Theater, aqueduct all provide a glimpse of the era. The tour will then take you to Megiddo which is believed to be the actual site of Armageddon. The location has been well protected and you can see the supply of water system.
The tour will extend to Haifa which gives you a Bird’s eye view of Bahai gardens. You can then go to Acre where the ancient city and harbor will further offer some grand glimpse of the past glory. With Petra Toursyou can enjoy a relaxing night stay at Kibbutz Lavi.
Tiberias -Capernaum – Banias
After spending some time in Tiberias you can go to Capernaum via boat. Here you can check out the remains of synagogue which hail from the 2nd century. Tabgha, the church of multiplication, mount of beatitudes-the site where Jesus delivered ‘sermon on the mount’, Banias Springs, and Golan Heights are the most important spots that can be covered on the second day of your stay.
Nazareth – Beit Shean
A drive to Nazareth through Cana of Galilee is recommended by Petra Tours. Church of Annunciation, St. Joseph’s workshop and Mary’s well are important sites. Yardenit, the site where John baptized on the Jordan River are very important religious sites. Beit Shean, which has been recently excavated and the Roman theatre should be visited to get true picture of the Roman influence at the time. Embark on a night long drive along the banks of the Jordon River to reach Jerusalem.
Jerusalem – Old and New Jerusalem –Bethlehem
This would require at least two days. The important sites worth visiting are mount of Olives which allows a panoramic view Jerusalem, the tomb King David, and Mt. Zion where Jesus took the last supper with his 12 disciples, holy sepulcher’s church, the garden tomb.
On the second day you can visit Ein Karem to see the Church of visitation. Yad Vashem which is the memorial marking the holocaust, the shrine of the book and Bethlehem to see the visit the church of Nativity.
There are many more attractions to see and explore. If you want you can take a longer tour and get a better feel of the area.