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Imagine you walk in a gorge with steep cliffs of orangy rock towering above you. You can't see that far ahead of you, until suddenly the gorge widens and you're bemused by a cliff that looks a bit different. It's the same rock as everywhere else, but it is smooth, shaped into a beautiful composition of columns, frontons, statues. Petra is an amazing place. I have yet to see it with my own eyes, but just reading about fills you with wonder. Even a walk on Street View is an awesome experience. 

It's no wonder that Petra belongs to the seven modern wonders of the world. It houses many extraordinary buildings dating back almost two millennia ago. The most famous and one of the best conserved of all of these buildings is Al-Khazneh, the Treasury. It's monumental yet elegant, beautifully refined between the rough rocks. A true gem, especially when lit by candles at night.

Recreating a wonder of the world with bricks definitely is no easy feat. Capturing it on a 8x8 footprint is even harder. It gets worse still if you can only use classic bricks, so no Technic or minifig-related parts. The Classic contest on Rebrick definitely pushed me, but I'm happy with the result. On an 8x8 base and with no Technic or minifig pieces in sight I recreated Al-Khazneh, complete with decorated columns, fronton, monumental gate and remnants of statues. The only thing I couldn't quite cram in was the Holy Grail.

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[MOC] The Treasury of Petra by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr

The antenna pieces was what got me started. From there on, it was getting the most out of classic bricks. I recently built the Architecture Brandenburg gate, and that was what really gave me inspiration to participate in this contest. I was intrigued how that set manages to convey all of the necessary detail with just basic bricks, employing them to shape the building rather than to depict anecdotic details. It drove me to work with a lot of offsets to get the most out of the system. It was something completely different than my previous build, in which the objective was to use as many exotic parts as possible to depict details. The result is a seven wide building with a lot of half-stud offsets and trickery to fill the holes in between the sports of the fences on the top. A result with a back that isn't entirely flat because I'm not a magician. But a result which in my opinion really feels like the original.

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[MOC] The Treasury of Petra - Visitor perspective by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr

One of the hard things to get right when depicting anything from Petra, is the color. The color is just so distinct and part of the atmosphere of the place, but not well matched to a LEGO color. I went with the common solution of using tan bricks, but put a orangy/reddish light on it all to give it the sense of desert mystery in the morning.

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[MOC] The Treasury of Petra - Desk perspective by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr

I had a blast building this and learning more about the wonderful place that is Petra. I loved the refreshment of getting everything I could out of the system. It meant not using gears for extra details on the dome or using some minifig accessory as broken statue, but I learned that the coherence of the build only benefits from it, especially at such a scale. I doubt that the creation would be better if I were allowed to use all kinds of bricks. So thanks Rebrick for hosting this contest. And thanks to all of you for taking a look at my 266 part creation! As always, the digital file is available here and you can find it on Rebrickable to make your life easier if you'd like to build it.

Thanks again, and have a dreamy day!

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Instantly recognizable and amazingly built. The challenge to restrict the variety of parts available doesn't seem to have been an obstacle for you at all. :thumbup:

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