Night life and cave life don’t tend to intersect, unless you’re Batman. But in Petra, Jordan (one of the New 7 Wonders of the World) that’s exactly what happens, because it’s home to the oldest bar in the world, which just happens to occupy a 2000 year-old cave.
Cave Bar (they went with a pretty descriptive name) is now part of the adjoining Crowne Plaza Resort and Petra Guest House Hotel, but it was built well before—a couple millennia, in fact. The cave itself was originally built as a tomb by the Nabataean people, who inhabited that area of Jordan between 37 to 100 A.D. The Nabataeans were clearly gifted at taming massive stones: they chiseled cliff faces into “god blocks” for worship and carved this very successful, long-lasting cave (for purposes other than partying, we assume).
Fast forward about 2000 years and you have Cave Bar, where patrons worship at the altar of nightlife, often until the wee hours of the morning. The bar itself proffers the regular roster of alcoholic and non-alcoholic pleasures, but the space is clearly the draw: rough textured sandstone walls, massive load-bearing solid rock columns, glowing lanterns dripping light and shadow into every nook and cranny—even little niches carved into the rock walls themselves with individual tables (a great place for couples’ privacy, though if you intend to break up with someone, don’t do it in a cave).
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As for what to drink, there’s always good local Jordanian wine. And many flavors of Hubbly bubbly, which we think is hookah but may be something way, way cooler…
Images via Wikimedia Commons/Berthold Werner