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Tourism Ministry to restore Yanqul Fort

YANQUL: The towers and houses of the Fort of Yanqul or the lofty Bait Al Marah reveal stories of history and civilisation, striking deep in history.

Al Bait al Oud, Al Bait al Sharqi, Bait Al Marah and Bait al Basrah are essential facilities for the fort that tell stories from social life.

The tree gardens and palm oasis are located at the centre of the fort which is surrounded by orchards from all sides and some of them remained steadfast to this day. The fort is bordered on the south and north by oasis of palm trees.

It is bordered on the west by the old market, which is an ancient art and architecture masterpiece, that was one day full of life and the destination of all far and wide.

Hilal bin Said al Qatabi of Tourism Department, in the Governorate of Al Dhahirah said that the fort was built in the era of Al Nabahnah, on the ruins of an old fort during the 11th century.

It was the last ruling centre in that era and was successively used by eight rules during past historical periods.

He added that the fort consists of several facilities and buildings. Among them are the morning gate, the only entrance to the fort.

It is the reception gate, whereby guests enter the fort. The fort also consists of several towers located at the front of the fort and were used for forward defence of the fort at the time.

The fort consists of five houses. They are Al Bait Al Oud, the headquarters of the shaikh, his entourage and his company. It has its own independence, and also contains several rooms surrounding a tall building with three floors.

Al Bait al Sharqi is adjacent to Al Bait Al Oud, and is used for one of the sons of shaikh. It is located on the south side of the fort.

It is a large house that consists of several rooms and facilities that were renovated. Bait Al Marah is used as a residence for the military, storage of supplies, weapons, and is located on the eastern side of the fort.

Bait Al Basrah overlooks the suburb of Basra, which one day was rich with various plants and trees. Bait Al Basrah, located on the north side of the fort, is a beautiful house that reflects the beauty of the old Omani architecture and suggests to the visitor the lifestyle of the bygone era.

The Fifth House is the guard house and located near Bait Al Basrah. It is a small place with a number of rooms and is used by the guards of the shaikh. There are two Falaj inside the fort, namely Al Ain and Al Muhaidith. The fort has 46 multipurpose rooms.

The area of the fort is about 2,500 square metres and is surrounded by a defensive fence, provided by rifles platforms that are part of the fort.

On the plans of the Ministry of Tourism, which took over the fort, Hammad bin Said al Khatri, Director of the Department of Tourism in the Governorate of Al Dhahirah, says the ministry is coordinating with the concerned authorities to re-restore the fort and add other services, like an exhibition for old heritage tools.

The ministry also has plans to project the wilayat’s heritage and show it to visitors of the fort. In addition, the ministry also plans to publish a documentary pamphlet in this regard.

It also plans to appoint tourist guides to provide information for visitors and tourists. — ONA

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