Madain Saleh

Al`Ula - Madinah - Saudi Arabia

Mada'in Saleh (Cities of Saleh), also called "Al-Hijr", is an archaeological site located in the Sector of Al-`Ula within Al Madinah Region, the Hejaz, Saudi Arabia. A majority of the remains date from the Nabatean kingdom (1st century CE). It is about 1,111 km west-northwest of Riyadh and about 402 km northwest of Madinah, is one of the not-to-be-missed historical wonders in Saudi Arabia (and unsurprisingly of the whole world). The extraordinary Madain Saleh is home to 131 tombs, 45 of which carry inscriptions in late Aramaic script above the entrance. These inscriptions detail the tomb’s builders – many constructed by wealthy women. The enigmatic tombs combine elements of Greco-Roman architecture with Nabataean and Babylonian imagery. Recent excavations have revealed the foundations of unprepossessing houses and a market area for traders and caravans The Madain Saleh archaeological site covers the avast area. It is entered by car either from the south or from the north next to the Ottoman-period Hijaz Railway station, and both entrances join an unpaved road that loops around the whole site, making a few detours along the way. The ruins of the town of Hegra itself, where the Nabataean inhabitants once lived, is located at the center of the site but is currently under excavation in two distinct fenced-off areas.