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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Must Visit Forts and Castles in Oman - For the Historian in You!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Must Visit Forts and Castles in Oman - For the Historian in You!

Oman is home to more than five hundred castles and forts, which are architectural marvels that enhance the richness of its history. Here is a list of just a few.


Nizwa Fort

This is one of the oldest and popular forts in Oman, having been built by Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Y'aribi during the 17th century over the ruins of the 12th century. It stands out from the rest due to its unique shape: round and thus also known as the Round Fort. The diameter of the fort is around 43 metres and rises up to 24 metres.

There are seven interior wells, seven staircases, many trapdoors, and false doors. The walk around the castle is quite interesting geometrically and photographs quite beautifully. The castle has many exhibits that give an idea as to show the traditional living style in Oman.

There are viewpoints in the castle from which you can see the Hajar Mountains and the stretch of tropical trees. The last level of the fort has canons spread around the area. It is located about one and a half hours away from Muscat, the capital city, and even closer to the Anantara Al Jabal AL Akhdar resort. The fort is usually open on from Saturdays to Thursdays and has a small entrance fee.


Bahla Fort

This was once in the list of endangered sites, as the fort would collapse during the rainy seasons. Thanks to the Government of Oman, this then restored the fort and ensured that the Bahla Fort remains beautiful even at present. It is also on the UNESCO world heritage list. The castles are sand coloured and stand proud against the clear blue skies, which is quite the beautiful sight.


Fort Al Jalali

Fort Al Jalali, also referred to as Ash Sharqiya Fort, despite being closed to the public, can be admired from the Muscat harbour. The view of this 16th-century building is quite picturesque. The purpose of this fort was to protect the coastline. It has quite the history after being captured a few times, which adds to the historical feel of the fort. Al Mirani Fort, the twin, is situated opposite Al Jalali, facing the Sea of Oman. These forts are situated in the harbour of Old Muscat, thus in a more central location and adjacent to many Oman family resorts in the vicinity.


Mutrah Fort

It was built on a rock by the Portuguese during the 1580s and served as a defensive measure against the Ottoman army. This fort is still in use by the military. Therefore, the visitors are not always allowed.


Nakhal Fort

It is situated quite further away from Muscat at the foot of Jebel Nakhal, a spur from the western Hajar range. This fort is unique as it was built in such a way that it fits the irregular rock that surrounds it. There are plenty of palm trees spread across. There is a museum inside the fort that displays some of the historical guns. Every Friday, there is a goat auction market that is hosted within the fort premises. The fort has recently been refurbished to include more traditional furniture and ancient artefacts.