Great places to visit in this region of Jordan
The Nabateans, who ruled Petra and controlled the King's Highway connecting Arabia and Syria, refused Moses and later Emperor Trajan from using it. Emperor Trajan reconstructed the ancient roadway between Bosra, now in southern Syria, and Aqaba on the Red Sea coast in order to make it more accessible for trade and communication. To this day, the Byzantine mosaics in the Madaba area are considered worthy of pilgrimage because of the significance of the road in Early Christian times. The Crusaders built a stronghold at Karak and Shobak to protect the King's Highway, particularly where extensive remains of castles remain, as well as at Petra and Aqaba.
However, with the development by the Ottomans of the faster and more direct Darb al-Hajj (Pilgrimage Route), from Damascus to Medina and Mecca through the desert further east – and the subsequent construction of both the Hejaz Railway and the modern Desert Highway along the same route – the King’s Highway faded in importance. It was only asphalted along its entire length in the 1950s and 1960s.