Petra is known as the rose-red city, called so after the wonderful color of the rock from which many of the city's structures were carved in mountains.
The precise date when Petra was built is not known, but the city began to flourish as the capital of the Nabataean Empire from the 1st century BC, growing rich through trade in perfume, myrrh, and spices.
It was later annexed by the Roman Empire, but a large earthquake in 363 AD destroyed much of the city and it was abandoned. Only in 1812 was the city rediscovered by a Swiss explorer.
In 2007, Petra was named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.