Oman re-opens Al Rustaq Fort, Al Hazm and Qurayyat Castles for visitors
Monday 6, January 2014
The Ministry of Tourism reopened Al Rustaq Fort, Al Hazm and Qurayyat Castles for visitors after finishing renovation work that was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Heritage and Culture.
"Castles and forts are among the top tourist destinations in the Sultanate of Oman that attract a big number of visitors and tourists throughout the year. According to the recently released statistics, the number of visitors to castles and forts during the period from January 1 to October 31 this year stood at 150,000. The forts and castles in Ad Dakhiliyah Governorate topped the list in terms of visitors with 100,000 people; followed by the castles and forts in South Al Batinah with 18,000 people.
Officials say that there was a great variety in the types of visitors in terms of age group, nationality. Official statistics show that 16,000 Omanis visited the castles and forts till the end of October 2013, while the visitors from GCC nations numbered 760. Visitors aged under 12 were numbered over 10,000, during the January to October, 2013 period", said Abdullah bin Salim Al Zehli, Director of Historical Destination Development.
Commenting on the renovations of the castles and forts, Al Zehli said that these renovations are part of the Ministry of Tourism's plans to provide the historical destinations with better facilitaties, in order to make the visit a pleasant one which the visitor or the tourist will not forget forever. This would optimise the cultural destinations in Oman, which are very rich and unique.
The reopened destinations are Al Rustaq Fort, which lies in wilayat Al Rustaq in South Al Batinah Governorate. It was originally built in 1250, but was reconstructed to its present state during the reign of the Al Y`aribah in the sixteenth century. It consist of two floors, in addition to a ground floor, and houses residences, weapon stores, reception rooms, gates, a mosque, a prison and water wells. It has four towers: The Red Tower, The Wind Tower, The Devils Tower and the Modern Tower.
Al Hazm Castle is one of Islamic architectural masterpieces, as it does not contain any ceiling rafters. Roofs are held up by columns. The width of each wall is not less than three metres.
This castle, with its fortified towers and cannon openings in the upper storeys, is so built that its various huge entrances are not opposite one another. Al Hazm Castle has colossal wooden doors equipped with receptacles for pouring boiling oil or date honey.
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