Baghdad and Petra

Mada’in Saleh, Saudi Arabia

Some 450 miles south of Jordan’s fabled city of Petra, the ancient Nabataeans carved a lesser-known city also from desert stone., Mada’in Saleh, the Nabataean Kingdom’s second city. This is interesting as another town, Madīnat al-Salām (Arabic: “City of Peace”), is the capital of Iraq but better known as Baghdad. The latter city, is located on the Tigris River about 330 miles (530 km) from the headwaters of the Persian Gulf, is in the heart of ancient Mesopotamia.

Mada’in Saleh, (Arabic for Peace, Allah Willing), lacks Petra’s elegance, but has sturdy stone structures that show a similar mix of classical elements, including rows of tombs capped with cornices. More on this rock temple, can be found here.