Treasury, Petra (2007-06-073)
Al Khazneh (The Treasury) is one of the most elaborate buildings in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra. As with most of the other buildings in this ancient town, the structure was carved out of a sandstone rock face. It has classical Roman-influenced architecture, and it is a popular tourist attraction.
Al Khazneh was originally built as a royal tomb, probably between 100 BC and 200 AD. Its Arabic name Treasury derives from a legend that bandits or pirates hid their loot in a stone urn high on the second level. Significant damage from bullets can be seen on the urn. Local lore attributes this to Bedouins, who are said to have shot at the urn in hopes of breaking it open and spilling out the "treasure" within (the decorative urn however, is solid sandstone). Many of the building's architectural details have eroded away during the two thousand years since it was carved and sculpted from the cliff.