Uncover the secrets of the High Place of Sacrifice in Petra, a towering spot offering stunning views and a glimpse into ancient rituals.

The High Place Of Sacrifice In Petra

The High Place of Sacrifice can be found within the Petra UNESCO World Heritage site. Its name is derived from its elevated position at the of “Jabal Madabah” Mountain. Referred to as “al-Madhbah” in Arabic, this site was primarily utilized for the ritualistic sacrifice of animals to the Nabatean god, Dushara. Standing at a towering height of 170 meters, the High Place of Sacrifice ranks among the tallest spots in Petra. In addition to its historical significance, this ridge provides breathtaking panoramas of the ancient city of Petra.


The High Place of Sacrifice is situated in Petra, approximately a three-hour drive from Amman. It is positioned close to the theater and the Street of Facades, with visible indicators guiding the way. The trail ascending to the High Place of Sacrifice resembles a brief trek that meanders through vibrant rocks and the gorge of “Wadi al-Mahfur” using constructed steps. Descending can be done in two ways: retracing the same path or taking the route along the western cliff that goes through Wadi Farasa.

Despite historians’ certainty regarding animal sacrifice on the High Place of Sacrifice, there remains speculation about the occurrence of other ceremonies on this 15-meter long platform. It is widely believed that libations, the pouring of drinks as offerings, and the burning of frankincense also took place here. Additionally, there is a belief that human sacrifice might have occurred on this ridge, considering that the sacrifice of children was not uncommon during that era. Notably, drains were constructed within the ridge, connecting to water channels that were likely utilized for blood drainage.

From the summit of the High Place of Sacrifice, guests can anticipate breathtaking views of the ancient city of Petra. The panorama extends to other mountains in the city, such as the tomb of Aaron, believed to be the final resting place of Moses’ brother. Directly below the platform lie the theatre and Outer Siq tombs.

Experience the awe-inspiring High Place of Sacrifice in Petra. Learn about its significance and marvel at the views of this historical site today by booking a Petra city tour!

In addition to the High Place of Sacrifice itself, there are numerous remarkable sights along the ascent and descent from this ridge. Descending via the Wadi Farasa path, visitors will come across the remnants of the original Crusader walls. Midway down this path stands a Lion Monument carved into the rock face, likely serving as a water source for travelers. The spiral staircase then leads to the Garden Triclinium, where feasts were held to honor those interred in the nearby Roman Soldier Tomb. The trail continues past other notable landmarks like the Renaissance Tomb, Zantur Hill, and Amud Faraoun, eventually reconnecting with the main routes.

How can you visit this landmark of history?

The ticket price to Petra includes access to the High Place of Sacrifice, which can be reached by climbing the signposted stairs up to the ridge. The ascent typically takes about 40 minutes and there are restroom facilities at the beginning of the route, as well as a few snack stalls along the way. It is recommended for visitors to descend using a different route, such as the popular Wadi Farasa route, which encompasses several important religious sites and tombs.

Reaching the summit of the High Place of Sacrifice is no easy task, as it involves navigating winding stone staircases and a small section of scrambling on the way down. However, the effort is well worth it, as you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the rocky mountains of Petra. This ridge holds a unique significance, with a dark history dating back to the Nabatean era. If you have the time and energy, make sure not to miss out on this remarkable architectural marvel.

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