Lawrence’s House, so called because TE Lawrence reportedly slept here during his time in the desert, actually has a much older history than its namesake. The British general who united Arab tribes to fight against the Ottoman Empire would have sheltered in this structure around 1917. But the house itself was erected on top of a pre-existing structure built by Nabateans close to a thousand years ago. As such, the Bedouin people have a different name for this place which translates as “The Small Palace.” Whichever name you use, it is clearly a site steeped in history that continues to fascinate people to this day.
Rising behind the house, a cliff stands dotted with towers of small stones precariously balanced one atop the other. In past times, these structures were used as waymarkers, built by Bedouins to show the safest route along the mountain. But in past years, tourists have flooded the area and taken to building their own statues. The multitude of rock piles now signify both an age-old custom and international interest in Bedouin traditions. But don’t attempt to use them as a guide anymore: the real waymakers have long become lost among those casually built by passing travellers.
Lawrence House is located centrally in the Protected Area and is included in the standard 4×4 tours. It is around 5km from Arabian Nights Camp and 10km from Wadi Rum Village. The GPS coordinates are 29.528619N, 35.459309E.
- The structure is made up of carefully carved blocks with square edges.
- T.E. Lawrence supposedly stayed here, but the original structure was built by Nabateans.