Tucked away amidst the palm orchards of Al Batinah’s Wilayt Nakhal is an architectural marvel that quite literally rises above the stony hill at the foot of Mount Nakhal to the northeast of Green Mountain or Al Jabal Al Akhdar. Also known as Husn Al Heem this ancient fortress is also one of Sultanate’s most stunning historical monuments. Set against the backdrop of red-hued rocks of the Jebel Akhdar Mountains, looking over a haven covered with date palms the fort affords captivating views that can be deemed classically Arabian from its commanding position. Considered an exquisite example of Islamic architecture, Nakhal Fort is a structural marvel in terms of scale and the unity of its design elements.
Deriving its name from the date palm groves in the vicinity, Nakhal Fort sits 100 feet high on a rocky cape. Entrenched on top of large yellow rock slabs, the entire fort appears to be a fortress made up of walls, windows and towers carved in to single boulder. Once inside, visitors will find open stairwells, plain spaces and arched recesses. Numerous chambers with richly decorated windows that feature wood carvings and palm matted lattices on their ceilings are another highlight as these stunning lattices are supported by polished palm and mangrove wood. The elaborately decorated rooms have a distinctly traditional feel while the rooftop courtyards that are patrolled by armed guards are another point of interest. Each of the fort’s 6 towers contain ancient cannons that served as the first line of defence should the fort be breached.
From its early days to as recently as 1980 the fort served as the official home of the Wali who conducted a regular barza session in which he attended to the complaints, pleas and petitions of the local community and sat in judgment over local affairs. Containing secret passageways, underground tunnels, dead ends, sharp turns and disorienting alleyways Nakhal Fort incorporated ingenious structural elements and strategies to protect the citadel from enemy forces outside the fortress.
Travellers in search of a luxury Oman beach resort should look to none other than Millennium Resort Mussanah for all their accommodation needs. Ideally located on a coastal beachfront in the Gulf of Oman, this stylish Oman Muscat hotel is also a mere 45 minutes away from the Muscat International Airport.