People in the door of the Deir The Deir monument is 40.2 meters wide and is carved deep into the side of the mountain. The door itself is 8 meters high. The main inside chamber is huge. It is 11.5 meters by 10 meters, and is lit only by light coming through the 8 meter high doorway.
On the far side there is a wide niche with steps leading up to it on either side, and an arch over it. Apparently there was plaster on the walls here. The stairs seem to indicate that there was once an altar here, similar to Al Uzza and Dushares Temples. Later, Christian crosses were carved into the walls.
In front of the monument, a huge area was leveled, and seems to have been used for great congregations of people. The surrounding hills form a great natural amphitheater.
Not far from the Deir, along the left wall full of caves and cisterns is a carving showing two camels and men. Across from the Deir is a pilastered niche in a cave, with a man standing beside an altar.
During clearing work around the Petra Deir monuments in 1990-91, an inscription was discovered nearby. It referred to “the symposium of Obodas the God.” From this inscription, some archeologists believe that the Deir was created as a meeting place for members of the cult of Obodas. Others feel that the Deir may have been a tomb and monument, used by the family and descendants of Obodas.
In the past, people were allowed to climb the mountan behind the Deir and sit on the large rim under the urn. Climbing the Deir mountian is now forbidden. We do have pictues, however, of previous visits to the top of the Deir.
Climbing the Deir is longer allowed. These photos were taken in 1979