The Great Temple

Qasr al-Bint to the West, and the Lower Market/Petra Pool Complex to the East, The “Great Temple” once occupied a prime spot in ancient Petra

Petra, Jordan

Coordinates: 30.328700, 35.442300

The so-called Great Temple at Petra is a grand monumental complex that lies south of the Colonnaded Street at Petra. It covers an area of around 7,560 m2.

It seems that the Temple was built here by the Nabataeans at the end of the 1st century BC, and today the archaeological excavations in the site have not yet ended.

Two massive cisterns have been excavated there which suggests that water distribution was a big part in its everyday role.

It is unclear whether the complex was a religious or administrative building, and – if it was indeed religious – how exactly it functioned or to what deity it was dedicated.

It stood 60 ft (18 m) high in its glory days before it was badly damaged by an earthquake.

The great temple is another of the great sites as you walk up from the Treasury building further into Petra. In it’s prime, this used to be the ‘town centre’.

Know This

Located across the street from the Temple of the Winged Lion is this temple, which is easily accessed by the main road–which means there really isn’t any reason not to visit it.

Best viewed from the ruins of the Winged Lion temple (up the hill opposite).