Immerse yourself in the history and beauty of the Al-Bint Palace in Petra, an extraordinary Nabataean temple known for its exquisite columns and holy sanctuary.

Al-Bint Palace in Petra

Excavations and restoration efforts commenced at the Qasr al-Bint Temple in the late 1950s under the British School of Archeology in Jerusalem’s supervision. Presently, the Jordanian Department of Antiquities oversees the ongoing work. The Nabataean Qasr al-Bint Temple, situated in a spacious paved courtyard, still stands tall at 23 meters. Enclosed by a sanctuary with added seating, one can still find the base for Aretas IV’s statue, as evidenced by an inscription among the seats. Another inscription was discovered in the sanctuary’s northeastern corner.

The temple’s northern facade boasts four columns, accessible via a white marble staircase. The sacrificial altar was positioned to the north, facing the Holy of Holies. Following the Syrian temple system, priests would enter the temple from the outer courtyard, proceeding to the Holy of Holies.

Uncover the secrets of Al-Bint Palace in Petra. From its grand columns to the sacred Holy of Holies, this temple offers a glimpse into the ancient Nabataean culture now by booking a 10 day ultimate Jordan tour that includes Petra.

Within the central sanctuary, statues of deities were elevated on a raised platform. Historians from the fourth century AD noted that the temple was dedicated to the god Dhul-Shara and his virgin mother, Al-Uzza – Aphrodite. Discoveries during excavations corroborated this account, including a monument fragment adorned with eyes and a nose. Two attics towered over the side rooms, accessible via a stairway through the wall’s thickness. These rooms were designated for sacred gatherings, with remnants of marble seats found within. The attics preserved the passage of time and loyalty. Internally and externally, the temple walls were embellished with plaster courses, statues, floral motifs, and a 70 cm high marble frieze.

Dating back to the latter half of the first century BC, the temple was utilized during the Roman era in the second century AD. However, it fell victim to looting and fire in the late third century before being struck by an earthquake in 363 AD.

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