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Qasr Al Saneh – A Nabatean Architectural Wonder

When visiting Madain Saleh (in Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk Province), Qasr Al Saneh would be a good place to start to learn about the Nabatean architecture which are richly obvious in the carved tombs you’ll see everywhere around the area.

If you’ve been to Petra in Jordan, the architectural wonder you’ll find in Madain Saleh isn’t that different from Jordan’s most photographed tourist attraction. They’re actually similar from top to bottom. Only that, Petra is more stunning than these ones here in Madain Saleh.

Do not expect too much to see here if you’re not into history or archaeology. Or if you’re not into taking a selfie in caves that used to be tombs. No more human skulls and bones there but some are certainly creepy.

Related: The Amazing Petra in Jordan!

Let me bring you inside the Qasr Al Saneh tombs.

This is a facade of one of the tombs. 

Qasr Al Saneh at Madain Saleh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Qasr Al Saneh at Madain Saleh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

And here’s another one, too. 

Qasr Al Saneh at Madain Saleh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Qasr Al Saneh at Madain Saleh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

The tombs are carved in sandstone cliffs, canyons and boulders. 

Qasr Al Saneh at Madain Saleh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Qasr Al Saneh at Madain Saleh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Just above the door are carved adornments.

Qasr Al Saneh at Madain Saleh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Qasr Al Saneh at Madain Saleh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

The eagle is a symbol of Nabatean’s male diety, Dushara. 

Madian Saleh's Qasr Al Saneh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Madian Saleh’s Qasr Al Saneh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Some of the caves here are unfinished and some have fallen to the weather–with missing body parts.

Qasr Al Saneh at Madain Saleh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Qasr Al Saneh at Madain Saleh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Since the Nabateans believe in life after death, their tombs are big and designed like houses. These shelves (below) are nothing but plain shelves which can be useful in their next life. 

Madian Saleh's Qasr Al Saneh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Madian Saleh’s Qasr Al Saneh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

And yes, this is where they bury their dead. Of course, not in standing position. 😉 

Madian Saleh's Qasr Al Saneh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Madian Saleh’s Qasr Al Saneh is an ancient Nabatean architectural marvel.

Madain Saleh is just a 20-minute drive outside of Al Ula where a small airport is located. Al Ula itself is a small city with amazing landscapes that will blow your mind away.

Travel Tips to Madain Saleh:

Visitors to Madain Saleh usually stay in Al Ula because of its convenience. Book your hotel in advance to get your desired room.

But I have a suggestion for you: go camping in the desert, especially at Madakhil Camp. It has everything basic (and then some) you need when camping. In fact, the camp exceeded my expectations. You can book here. Or read my review.

START YOUR AFFORDABLE ADVENTURE HERE!

 

 

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