The Monastery
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The Monastery: Petra's "Other" Treasury
At the other end of Petra, some 800 well-worn steps up, lies the valley's largest structure, the Monastery. It dates back to the 1st century and is dedicated to Obadas I, the king of the Nabataeans from 96 B.C.E. to 85 B.C.E. After the emotional experience I had walking through the long, graceful Siq and seeing the Treasury, the Monastery can be quite a stretch. But it is worth the long trek in the valley and the demanding hike up, if only for the view. It's also humbling to photograph yourself against the structure: You are ant-like compared to the Monastery's colossal 45-meter-high frame. Tip: Do the hike when it's cooler, so you're not trekking the steps at noon, when it is hottest.
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