Archaeologists say that Oman is the location of one of the world’s earliest inhabited settlements. For its strategic location, it has been in the eye of several empires. For such a reason, Oman had to be ready with a strong defense for any outer attack. Throughout history, forts, castles, and towers have been built all over Oman. Over 500 defensive structures can be found today in Oman. In general, all cities in Oman have some or several of these structures. However, they might vary in shape and the way they were built depending on the era.
In Sur for instance, there are over 90 of these defensive constructions. Izki has 142 towers. Some of them age back to The Hegira. In Samail, besides the famous Samail Fort, there are 115 forts, castles and towers. Barka has 38 and Suwaiq has 27.
Rustaq and Bahla forts are among the most important ones for their deep roots in history. The date of building Rustaq Fort is still a field of discussion with the historians. It is in the highest spot of all Oman forts and is surrounded by several towers. The name “Rustaq” means the front land in Persian.
The other pre-Islam fort is Bahla Fort. It is famous for its 7-KM wall. Bahla Fort is 150 feet higher than the surrounding ground.
In 1658, Sultan bin Saif Al Yarubi built Nizwa Fort with a height of 34 meters a round tower that has a diameter of 27 meters. The progress of building it took 12 years.
After 12 years, in 1670, Bal’arab bin Sultan Al Yarubi built Jibreen Castle with 2 huge towers which have 2-meters-thick walls.
Oman is full of such constructions that prove the depth of its roots in history. Many of them can still be seen and visited today. Have you visited any?