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.
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.
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!
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Nakhal Fort (Oman). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Nakhal Fort.
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