Nizwa Fort in Oman ....{by Bassam}

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

The Nizwa Fort is a massive castle in Nizwa, Oman. It was built in the 1650s by the second Ya’rubi Imam; Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya'rubi, although its underlying structure goes back to the 12th Century. It is Oman's most visited national monument. The fort was the administrative seat of authority for the presiding Imams and Walis in times of peace and conflict. The main bulk of the fort took about 12 years to complete and was built above an underground stream. The fort is a powerful reminder of the town's significance through turbulent periods in Oman's long history. It was a formidable stronghold against raiding forces that desired Nizwa's abundant natural wealth and its strategic location at the crossroads of vital routes. The fort's design reflects the Omani architectural ingenuity in the Ya’rubi era that witnessed considerable advancement in military fortifications and the introduction of mortar-based warfare. The main part of the fort is its enormous drum-like tower that rises 30 metres above the ground and has a diameter of 36 metres. The strong foundations of the fort go 30 metres into the ground, and a portion of the tower is filled with rocks, dirt and rubble.[4] The doors are inches deep and the walls are rounded and robust, designed to withstand fierce barrages of mortar fire. There are 24 openings all around the top of the tower for mortar fire. Two cannons guard the entrance to the fort which opens into a maze of rooms, high-ceilinged halls, doorways, terraces, narrow staircases and corridors. Four cannons remain on the tower's top, down from a total of 24, which once served as the fort’s main firepower. They provided complete 360-degree coverage of the countryside around making it virtually impossible for a surprise attack on the fort without provoking a reply from the cannons.[2] One of them has the name of Imam Sultan bin Saif engraved on it. Another, from Boston City, was presented to the first Omani ambassador to the United States in 1840. Clumps of cannonballs, misshapen with rust and age lie around.

The design of the tower, complete with battlements, turret, secret shafts, false doors and wells incorporates a great deal of architectural deception. Access to the top is only by means of a narrow twisty staircase barred by a heavy wooden door studded with metal spikes to exhaust the enemy and impede their progress to the top of the tower. Those who did manage to run the gauntlet of hurdles risked being burnt by boiling oil or water that was poured through shafts which opened directly above each set of doors. Date syrup, a liquid that oozed from bags of dates stored in special date cellars, also came in handy as an alternative to oil and water. The fort was built above a subterranean stream that ensured a permanent supply of water when subjected to a prolonged siege. Several cisterns located within the fortified compound also ensured plentiful supplies. Underground cellars stockpiled food and munitions. Running all round the summit of the tower is a wall for use by 120 guards who kept watch over the surrounding countryside and were armed with muskets and flintlocks. Furthermore, 480 gun-ports allowed for a concentrated barrage of fire if the fort came under attack.

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Comments (85)

Biplab Kumar Pal on December 27, 2012

Excellent shot, L+F, best wishes from India, Biplab.

Jan Sognnes on December 27, 2012

Amazing ancient castle! Excellent shot! Nice informations!

Like & Favorite

Greetings, Jan

adriana bruno on December 27, 2012

LIKE, ottima ripresa! Un saluto, Adriana

PANAL on December 27, 2012

BassamGrandiosa vista...LIKE. Muy cordiales saludos , Panal.

Martin Beitz on December 28, 2012

Beautiful place. YSL. Best wishes and a happy 2013, Martin.

mustafa taşkın on December 28, 2012

Very nice town and beautiful photo.. Like Best wishes, Mustafa

hongtran on December 28, 2012

Very nice photo .Like .

kazkun on December 28, 2012

Very nice composition! Like

Greetings, kazkun

Guizel J.c on December 28, 2012

Beautiful picture and place

YS & LIKE

cheers-J.c

Bassam Jayousi on December 30, 2012

Marlene, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam


Bassam Jayousi on December 30, 2012

Nam Tuan, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam


Bassam Jayousi on December 30, 2012

Ana Maria, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like+Ys.

Best wishes, Bassam


Bassam Jayousi on December 30, 2012

Duc Tu, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like+Ys.

Best wishes, Bassam


Bassam Jayousi on December 30, 2012

Farhat, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam


Bassam Jayousi on December 30, 2012

Natuska, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam


Bassam Jayousi on December 30, 2012

Ivan, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam


Bassam Jayousi on December 30, 2012

Don, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the *Like+Ys.

Best wishes, Bassam


Bassam Jayousi on December 30, 2012

Janusz, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam


Bassam Jayousi on December 30, 2012

Laci, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like.

Best wishes, Bassam


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on December 26, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Bassam Jayousi
    • Camera: SONY DSC-T70
    • Taken on 2011/12/04 12:41:35
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 13.10mm
    • F/Stop: f/6.300
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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