Al Dayr, Petra by Bashar Tabbah

Al Dayr, Petra

While the treasury in the classical city of Petra is instantly recognisable, on the west of the rose red city is the Dayr (the Monestary). Its name relates to its later Christian use, when crosses were incised on the back wall and on the Doric frieze.

once enclosed in colonnades, large congregations could take part. The grand ascent and the scale of the façade suggest a place of special sacredness—it was a biclinium (a feasting hall with two benches cut into the stone), used for ritual banquets. The identity of the person or deity honoured here can only be guessed at, but an inscription nearby refers to, ‘the symposium of Obodas the god’—King Obodas I, who was deified after his death in 87 BC.