Articles/The historical castles of Saudi Arabia

The historical castles of Saudi Arabia

السعودية تحتضن آثار قلاع تحكي قصصاً تاريخية

27 NOV 2019


Source: Abeer Al-Amoudi

As the Arabian Peninsula is one of the most influential strategic areas in the Middle East, the region has hosted many high-rising monuments over the ages. These include castles that play many roles such as a house, strong fortress, prison, armory and even local government centers. Here, we list the most important of these historical structures that have withstood the test of time:

Zureeb Castle

Located in Al-Wajh governorate, this recently restored castle was built during the reign of the Ottoman ruler Sultan Ahmet I in 1617 in order to protect convoys of pilgrims. Its careful restoration has meant its original form remains intact. The walls are equipped with battlements.

Abu Arish Castle

Located in the eponymous province, this structure was built in the squared Turkish architectural style, supported by circular towers in all corners, with openings for observation and defense. It was repaired after the devastation of wars that marked the end of the first Ottoman state in 1036 AH.

Ayrf Castle

This is one of the oldest castles built specifically for observation and located in the heart of Hail at the top of Mount Ayrf. It is one of the most important tourist attractions in Hail. In 1840, the castle was built from mud on an area of 440 square meters with towers to monitor enemies and defend its inhabitants. It underwent many renovations during the Rashidi era and beyond until it attained its current form.

Tarut Castle

Situated on the top of a hill in the middle of Tarut island in the Qatif province of eastern Saudi Arabia, this was one of the most important Portuguese defense castles in the Arabian Gulf dating back to the era of the Ottoman Empire. The castle was built with mud, plaster and stones and supported by four towers. The castle is located near many archaeological sites and was restored by the Saudi government in 1984.

Tabuk Castle

Dating back to 1559, this is considered one of the most important monuments in Tabuk. It was last renovated in 1992 and visitors can find the original ceramic tiles still present at the entrance. The castle is located on the pilgrimage road that connects the Levant and Madinah.

Saidi Castle

Located in the northern city of Qurayyat, Saidi Castle was classified as dating back to the Nabataeans because of the use of black basalt rocks and other similar materials used in that period, especially at the main gate. There are many towers along its fence.

Dossary Castle

The Ottoman-era Dossary Castle is located on a mountain in the center of Jazan overlooking the Red Sea and was the base of the local Turkish governor. It was also believed to serve as a camp for the army of Dawasir sent by King Abdulaziz. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage restored and restructured the castle in 2012 and established a museum inside it.

Mared Castle

This historic military fortress located in Al-Jouf dates back to the first century. Mared castle overlooks all parts of the town and is located near many historical monuments including Ibn Al-Khattab mosque, the old market of Dumat Al-Jandal and the old city walls.

Muwailih Castle

A centerpiece of Tabuk province, Muwailih Castle is one of the largest historical castles in the Kingdom. It was built during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1560 at an elevated position to observe all angles and consists of four towers with battlements where cannons could be fired from. The castle has approximately 70 rooms.