Visit the site of Hegra — also known as Mada’in Salih in AlUla — to experience Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you’ll explore a volume of magnificent tombs set in a desert landscape, while learning about the ancient people and culture of AlUla.
Evidence for human presence and use of the site dates back beyond the 1st millennium BCE, but it was the location of the Nabataean city from the end of the 1st millennium BCE into the 1st millennium CE. The city was at its peak from the late 2nd century BCE to the 2nd century CE.
What You Can’t Miss
Today, Hegra is best known for its more than 100 monumental tombs carved from rock formations in which the Nabataean elite were laid to rest. Inscriptions, detailing who was buried within, remain above some of these breathtaking burial chambers to this day. As you walk through the site, you’ll find tombs dedicated to healers, military figures, local leaders and others.
Inscriptions can be found throughout the site of Hegra. They reveal the origins of the Arabic language, and illuminate the customs and beliefs of ancient civilisations. In addition to the inscriptions, you’ll see repeated stylised stone carvings, or betyls. These stone blocks acted as representations of the gods. Some feature stylised eyes, noses and mouths.