Documentary Film based on Gibson's book: Qur'anic Geography


The Sacred City from Glasshouse Media on Vimeo.


Arriving at Petra
The Walk Into Petra
The Siq
The Small Siq
Street of Facades
Water Works
The Theater
The Royal Tombs
High Place
Colonnade Street
Great Temple
Temple of Al Uzza
Temple of Dushares
The Museum 
The Dier 
Al Habis
Um Al-Biera
Jebal Haroun
City of Board Games
Snake Monument
Sabara Suburb
City Walls/Map
Al Beidha
Al Beidha Village
Kubtha High Place
Wadi Nmeir 
Small Delights
The Bedul
Petra Today 
Petra Park
Is Petra the
Holy City of Islam?
We wish to thank Tamas Arany, one of the reader of this site for sending us these great photos. Be sure to check out more of Tamas's photos of Um el Biera, al Baida, and Jebal Haroun.

 PETRA: Al Sabra Suburb

In Wadi Sabra, the Nabataeans had an agricultural and industrial settlement. Hewn into the cliff on the left is a theater. Above the theater was a water reservoir. Behind the theater stage is another water basin. Along the sides of the wadi are many cave homes. Past the theater is a cult niche in the cliff, just beyond the perennial sprint, Ain Sabara. On the north west side of the wadi, above the sprint are the ruins of a monumental building with large columns which may have been a temple. There is a heap of copper ore slag on the top of the wadi embankment. Cupriferous sandstone deposits, iron ore and copper are found along the wadi, demonstrating how this was an important mental-working center at Petra.

Below: The entrance to Wadi Sabra. It's a long climb down, but worth it if you are a Petra or Nabataean enthusiast.


In 2003 a group of Nabataean enthusiasts attempted to enter Al Sabra through the canyons south of Petra. When attempting to save time with a shortcut, they became lost in the maze of canyons for several hours before emerging into Petra. You can see some photos of their trip on this page.

There are many ways to get to Al Sabara. The easiest, described below, is to start at Darshares Temple and hike along the bottom of Um al Biyara (as if you were going to Aron's Tomb) until you get to the snake monument. From there it is another hour hike to Wadi Al Sabra. At one time this route was sign posted. The second route starts on the Hotel road above Wadi Mousa. Start south of the Grand View Hotel and head down the mountain and west towards the Sabra mountains. You pass down fields, a rough road and just before the flat-topped Tabqa mountains turn south down the gorge called Ras Sabra, along a clear track until the wadi widens. From there it is easier to hike into Petra than to climb back up the mountain.


Above: Aron's Tomb can be seen in the distance.

Above: Part of the theater

Above: The water cistern was above the theater to the right.

Above: The water cistern wall has broken through.

Above: Another view of the theater

Above: Most of Sabra is covered in sand and debri.