Bahla Fort in Oman [in late afternoon light] - A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE ....{by Bassam}

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The immense, ruined Bahla Fort, with its walls and towers of mud brick on stone foundations and the adjacent Friday Mosque with its decoratively sculpted prayer niche (mihrab) dominate the surrounding mud brick settlement and palm grove. The fort and settlement, a mud-walled oasis in the Omani desert, owed its prosperity to the Banu Nebhan tribe (Nabahina), who dominated the central Omani region and made Bahla their capital from the 12th to the end of the 15th century. From there they established relationships with other tribal groups of the interior. Bahla was the centre of Ibadism (a branch of Islam), on which the ancient Omani Imamates were based and whose influence can be traced across Arabia, Africa and beyond. The extensive wall (sur) with sentry walk and watchtowers enclosing the labyrinth of mud brick dwellings and cultivatable land has several gateways. The oasis is watered by the falaj system of wells and underground channels bringing groundwater from distant springs, and by management of the seasonal flow of water. Bahla is an outstanding example of a fortified oasis settlement of the medieval Islamic period, exhibiting the water engineering skill of the early inhabitants for agricultural and domestic purposes. The pre-gunpowder style fort with rounded towers and castellated parapets, together with the perimeter sur of stone and mud brick technology demonstrates the status and influence of the ruling elite. The remaining mud brick family compounds of traditional vernacular houses (harats) including al-Aqr, al-Ghuzeili, al-Hawulya and the associated mosques, audience halls (sablas), bath houses, together with the dwellings of the fort guards (askari) demonstrate a distinctive settlement pattern related to the location of the falaj. The importance of the settlement is enhanced by the Friday mosque with its highly ornate mihrab and the remains of the old, semi-covered market (souq), comprising a complex of single-storey shops fronting onto narrow lanes, the whole enclosed by an outer wall. The location of the souq placed it within easy surveillance from the fort on its rocky outcrop nearby. Remains of carved and decoratively incised timber doors, shelves and window screens testify to a rich, thriving craft tradition. Criterion : The Bahla Fort and oasis settlement with its perimeter fortification are an outstanding example of a type of defensive architectural ensemble that enabled dominant tribes to achieve prosperity in Oman and the Arabian Peninsula during the late medieval period.

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Comments (258)

sogesehen on August 31, 2014

101/232 Manfred

mfp on September 4, 2014

Very nice photo, dear Bassam!

Beautiful place!

Greetings and best wishes, Florian

Alodiarg on September 4, 2014

Muy interesante, Like + fav.

Saludos cordiales Alodia

Dr.Azzouqa on September 4, 2014

Excellent composition.


Best wishes from Jordan.


Erol Barutçugil on September 5, 2014

Very good cadre, nicely framed composition. Like. Greetings.Erol

JoeFal©o . mdt on September 5, 2014

Um lugar muito interessante…

... Uma bela imagem!


Saudações amigas. jfalco

Nicola Manini on September 6, 2014

A fantastic building, well shot. It's hard to believe this fortress has all mud walls! L13

Ciao, Nick

Filip Jurovatý on September 9, 2014


S priateľským pozdravom zo Slovenska, Filip.

Bartolome Muñoz on September 11, 2014

Me gusta. Preciosa captura; Hermosa fotografía.

Nikolai Karaneschev on September 16, 2014

Beautiful shot! L/F, best wishes, Nikolai.

pere oliver on September 16, 2014

hola excelente imagen like saludos Pedro

Toyb Bintikuatro on September 22, 2014

Magnificent architecture, gorgeous photo! YSL

la-gioconda -No View… on September 24, 2014

Google wants to shot down panoramio! Please sign in and give the message to others: ---- --- Greetings, Cornelia

ROSTAMDALILA on October 7, 2014

Nádherně ozářená krásná pevnost!
moc hezký záběr!

Mnoho srdečných pozdravů s přáním všeho nejlepšího zasílá Jarda z Potštejn!


Sergey Brandys on October 9, 2014

Hi, Bassam. Beautiful view. Wonderful picture. LIKE. Best regards, Sergey

Kamalakar Anthati on November 23, 2014

Beautiful,Excellent Shot,
Greetings from India,Kamalakar.

Bassam Jayousi on February 17, 2015

Dear Panoramio Friends, thank you very much for visit, kind words and for the Like &/ Fav.

Best wishes, Bassam

Heribert Bechen 7 days ago

Like & Follow! regards Heribert from Cologne, Germany

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on September 25, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Bassam Jayousi
    • Camera: CASIO COMPUTER CO.,LTD. EX-Z75
    • Taken on 2009/01/01 17:01:13
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 6.30mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.400
    • ISO Speed: ISO50
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash