Fort Hopping

August 25, 2016

Five citadels in and around Muscat that are proud symbols of the sultanate.

Muttrah Fort
This fort is located on the opposite side of Muttrah Corniche. Built by the Portuguese for military reasons, the citadel is situated atop the low rocky hills of the harbour. It is closed to the public. However, one can climb its visible flank to get a pleasing view of the sea.

Highlights: View at night for its spectacular lighting, watchtower, breathtaking views of the city and sea

Samail Fort


An exemplar of prudent use of land and location, this stronghold in Samail stands towering from the steep, rocky hill that it is erected upon.
It is a tribute to Oman’s historic architecture with its comely square designs.

Highlights: Panoramic views of wadis and palm plantations, majestic pillars and towers
Distance from Muscat: 70km

Nizwa Fort


Built in the middle of the 17th century, this acropolis was the result of the efforts of Imam Sultan bin Saif al Yarubi. It functioned as the administrative address of Imams and Walis. Known for its constructive quality, its foundations run 30m deep.

Highlights: Thick and heavy doors, high-ceilinged halls, intricate doorways, aisles, slim staircases and souq
Distance from Muscat: 161km

Bahla Fort


Founded upon unbaked brick and stone, the enormous fortress in Bahla has etched its name on the Unesco’s list of World Heritage Sites. It was built by the Banu Nebhan tribe, who ruled and prospered in the Bahla region from the 12th to the 15th century.

Highlights: Ancient mud houses in the ramparts, narrow winding alleyways, adjacent Friday mosque and souq
Distance from Muscat: 184km

Jabreen Castle


Jabreen Castle is perhaps the most beautiful among all forts in Oman. Built in the 17th century by Imam Bel’arab bin Sultan al Yarubi, it differs from the other forts as it was not built for military purposes. It was constructed during peacetime to promote the artistic and scientific excellence of the sultanate.

Highlights: Well-preserved collection of ancient manuscripts and books, a neat assembly of cooking utensils and kitchenware of yore, granaries, date processing and rooms
Distance from Muscat: 175km

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