A tribute to the god Enki – god of wisdom and freshwater – the Barbar Temple is an acclaimed architectural wonder.
Located on the fringes of the village of Barbar, this temple site consists of three temples built one on top of the other during three time periods.
The first of these temples is thought to have been built in 3000 BC using local stone, whilst the second of the temples was built 500 years later, also with local stone. However renovations of this temple show the use of pure limestone probably hewn and brought over from the nearby island of Jidda. This temple is the most well preserved one, maintaining most of its original structure and height. The third temple was discovered in 1954 by archaeologists from Denmark and is thought to have been built around 2000 BC.
Being dedicated to the god of wisdom and freshwater, it is no coincidence that the temples are built above a freshwater spring. Further excavations produced a sacred well built of large blocks of stone without the use of plaster, believed to be the abzu (abode) of god Enki – which was thought to be the large freshwater base on which the world was made.
The temples, especially the second and third, still contain its cult altars and offering tables. The unusual array of weapons and tools found among the excavations, together with the pottery and small pieces of gold found, are displayed at the National Museum of Bahrain.
A UNESCO declared world heritage site, the Barbar Temples should not be missed out on the traveller’s next visit to Bahrain. If the traveller is worried about Bahrain accommodation, then Manama serviced apartments such as the Somerset Al Fateh is an excellent place to stay, affording the business or leisure traveller the space, comfort, freedom and amenities that he or she needs.