Liwa Fort crown of North Al Bati­nah gover­norate

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

LIWA: There are many tourist at­trac­tions in the Sul­tanate. They in­clude tall tow­ers, cas­tles and forts, which are unique in de­signs.

The Wi­layat of Liwa in the Gover­norate of North Al Bati­nah is fa­mous for its stun­ning views, Aflaj or an­cient ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem or wa­ter chan­nels, val­leys, ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites and his­toric land­marks.

It is lo­cated in the North of the Sul­tanate, bor­dered in the South by the Wi­layat of Suhar and in the North by the Wi­layat of Shi­nas. The wilaya is fa­mous for Liwa Fort, which is lo­cated about one and a half kilo­me­tres from the cen­tre of the wilaya near the sea.

Ahmed bin Ab­dul­lah al Gh­u­faili, tourist guide in the Fort, said it was built for more than 400 years ago and was used for pro­tec­tion as well as the res­i­dence of the Wali, and a place to dis­cuss and man­age the wilaya’s af­fairs.

He pointed out that the Min­istry of Her­itage and Cul­ture started fort’s restora­tion works in 2000, which were com­pleted in 2003. He added that the fort con­tains a high wall and 5 ob­ser­va­tion tow­ers, in ad­di­tion to a main en­trance, lo­cally known as “Al Sabah”.

The Wali, the judge and a group of shaikhs and dig­ni­taries used to meet every morn­ing in the fort to man­age the wilaya’s af­fairs, re­solve dis­putes and dis­cuss top­ics of in­ter­est to cit­i­zens of the wilaya. Al Gh­u­faili re­ferred to what is known as the “Kas­bah,” which is the high­est build­ing in the fort and con­sists of three floors, five rooms and two halls, in ad­di­tion to a main en­trance, lo­cally called “Sabah” and two rooms, one for the well, its drilling and clean­ing and the other for bathing.

This Al Kas­bah was used to hous­ing the Wali and his fam­ily, and a post for ob­ser­va­tion.

There is a Ma­jlis (guest room) known in the past as “Al Sablah”. In ad­di­tion, there are three wells scat­tered in the fort at var­i­ous sites, which were used in the past for many pur­poses, in­clud­ing cook­ing and ir­ri­gat­ing plants in the Fort. The tourist guide of the fort spoke about the parts that were added to the fort at the time of restora­tion, in­clud­ing the theater, which was built in a way in­spired by the old the­aters. It is cur­rently used to host var­i­ous na­tional events. The fort is sur­rounded by houses and date-palm trees. The vis­i­tor can see from the tow­ers of the fort many vil­lages in the Wi­layat of Liwa, such as the coastal vil­lage of “Har­mul” and the fa­mous man­grove trees.

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