The Monastery at Petra
The Monastery is one of Petra’s most iconic monuments, and rivals the more famous Treasury for its scale and design. The Monastery is in fact larger (50m wide and 45m high) and dates from the 3rd century BC and built as a Nabataean tomb. It was probably used as a church in Byzantine times, hence the name. You reach the Monastery by climbing the 800-steps from the main site of Petra. It takes about 40 minutes to walk up. The best time to visit the Monastery is in the late-afternoon. It is also worth climbing up to the two viewpoints looking out over Wadi Araba, Israel and the Palestinian Territories and south to the peak of Jebel Haroun.
You can also reach the Monastery by taking the ‘Back Door to Petra’ after visiting Little Petra.