Columned building, so-called temple
View from southeast. Towards the end of the 1st century BC or the beginning of the 1st century AD, on the uppermost rock platform (25 m higher than Colonnaded Street) a peristyle building of about 30 x 18 m with two columns between the outer pilasters (antae, plural of anta) of the front side was built (distylos in antis). There were seven columns on each side and heart-shaped double columns at the rear (southern) corners as a connection between the long sides and the back with four columns. Comparisons with similar ancient buildings elsewhere suggest an interpretation as a royal reception hall (oecus corinthius). Excavations yielded no evidence that it might have been a temple for religious worship.
The first columned building was extended around the middle of the 1st century AD to form a 42.5 x 35.5 m building. High outer walls were erected on three sides at a distance from the columns of the core building, creating a wide inner ambulatory. The four columns at the front between the extended side walls made the building a tetrastylos in antis. In the first photo you can see the eastern and southern wall with high doorways.
The interior of the columned hall was decorated with painted stucco panels and mosaic floors. The magnificent interior and exterior decoration also included figural relief panels, frescoes and stucco decorations.
In the late 1st century AD, or possibly after the end of the Nabataean Kingdom by the Roman annexation in 106 AD, a theater was built into the columned hall, which may also have served as a bouleuterion (meeting place of the city's council).
In the background you can see Qasr al-Bint, the main temple of Petra.
© Photos, summary: Haupt & Binder, Universes in Universe
El mayor complejo arquitectónico de Petra no estaba destinado al culto religioso, sino que fue construido como emblemática sala de recepción real, a partir de finales del siglo I a.C. o principios del siglo I d.C.