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Oman: Nakhal Fort

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Nakhal Fort | Oman | Asia

[Visited: March 2011]

After taking the turn-off from the road to Rustaq, we suddenly saw a fortress rising above the green sea of date palms, and immediately knew it had to be Nakhal Fort, our destination. According to some, the first fort was built here in the 3rd century already, and it was expanded several times ever since. What our eyes saw now, was the 1990s restored version. Once at the feet of the fort, we first walked around it to get a better idea of its construction. From this angle, Nakhal Fort seems to grow out of a rocky outcrop: the walls almost seem a human continuation of the natural rock formations. The builders have taken clever advantage of the natural hill here, and built a fort that seems virtually impossible to conquer.

Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): The fort rising above the surrounding palm trees

We saw the six sturdy defense towers and the high walls in between and were impressed even before we finally entered Nakhal Fort through the main entrance, where we paid our entrance fee with a friendly Omani guy. Next, we walked through the arched entrance to the inner part of Nakhal Fort. Right above the entrance, we found the rather narrow and long winter and summer sitting rooms, with rooms on all three sides providing ventilation in the summer room, while the lower winter room had less windows. With old carpets on the floor, and brightly coloured pillows against the walls, the rooms looked pretty comfortable. From here, we continued through yet another strong spiked door, to reach the inner parts of Nakhal Fort.

Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Looking up the rocks and Nakhal Fort

We climbed stairs to reach a well, other stairs to see one of the towers, and went further up by using wooden bars in the stone walls to have even better views of the fort and the surrounding area. In some places on the upper level, rocks were appearing through the floor, and on a platform built on a rock, a cannon was pointing to the plains below, to an enemy that will never come. We saw the private room of the wali, the regional leader, the girls and boys, and were a little surprised by the fact that the room for men obviously had a better ventilation than the ladies room. In the latter, we mostly found plates and coffeepots, while in the former, the alcoves were storage for books. One level down again, we had a peek into the kitchen area and some more rooms, and there could only be one conclusion: people who lived here, must have had a very good time doing so!

Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): A well-ventilated room of Nakhal Fort with carpets and pillows
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Wooden instrument to grind grain and rice
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Metal spikes provide extra protection of this door
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Defensive tower with cannon on top of Nakhal Fort
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Defensive tower of Nakhal Fort seen from below
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Courtyard in Nakhal Fort
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Looking out over Nakhal Fort and surrounding landscape
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): View of the upper part of Nakhal Fort where many rooms can be found
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Defensive tower on top of Nakhal Fort with mountain in the background
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Cannon and balls in close-up at Nakhal Fort
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Coffeepots on display in Nakhal Fort
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Decorated ceiling of one of the living rooms in Nakhal Fort
Picture of Nakhal Fort (Oman): Inside view of one of the rooms of Nakhal Fort

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