Sohar has been named the home of legendary, but largely fictional character, Sinbad the Sailor. It was a beautiful beachfront town, which had an intriguing history. In ancient times it went by the name of Majan, meaning ‘seafaring’, which was appropriate given that it was key seaport. It grew prosperous from the copper mines; the contents of which were shipped to Mesopotamia and Dilmun in the 3rd century BC. Today, with new residential neighborhoods, shopping malls and star class hotels in Sohar, it has been converted into a city.
Despite its transformation, Sohar has many historic sites including Sohar Fort, a ten-minute drive from Al Wadi Hotel. The complex that includes a castle and fort, is one of the key historic landmarks in the Al Batinah North Governorate. The fort’s history can be traced back to the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Excavations show construction was completed in the fourteenth century. Some of the features that can be seen today were added by the Portuguese. It is believed to house a ten kilometre tunnel that could be used as an escape route in case of an attack. You will also find the tomb of Sayyid Thuwaini bin Sultan al Busaid, who ruled Oman from 1856 to 1866.
Today, the fort’s tower is home to a museum that was opened in 1993. Together with the history of Sohar that revolved largely around the city’s thriving copper industry, the museum also explores its ancient trade relations with key cities like Canton in China and other commercial cities on the Euphrates and Indus Rivers. Learn about its role in spreading Islam across the globe. Among the artefacts on display, you will also find coins that were discovered during excavation in the fort. The fort and museum are currently undergoing restoration to convert it into a world class attraction.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+