Bahla is a fortified oasis town in Northern Oman, best known for its immense 14th-century fortress and for a unique style of pottery.

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Bahla Fort

This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built in the 13th and 14th centuries by the prosperous Bani Nebhan tribe when they dominated the region. The original, unaltered structure has stone foundations and walls of unbaked mud brick, and together with the rest of the town is a magnificent example of medieval southern Arabian architecture. After a twenty-year restoration effort, the fort is now partially open to the public for limited hours. There are a number of displays inside, but as yet few labels or descriptions.

SEE   —  Hwy 21

Jabrin Castle

This impressive fortress was originally built in 1670-1675 as a residence for Imam Sultan bin Saif Al Ya'arubi, and was a centre of learning for medicine, astrology and Islamic studies. Many rooms and balconies feature elaborately carved fixtures, and within the living quarters the ceilings are painted with flowers and other ornamental flourishes. The tomb of the Imam is also enclosed within the fort.

SEE   —  Map

Bahla Souq

A traditional souq, where you can find Bahla's famed pottery, along with other hand-crafted items. The tree in the small central courtyard marks the spot where a much older tree once stood; this older tree was believed by locals to be bewitched and was chained to the ground to prevent the djinn from flying off with it.

BUY   —  Hwy 21

Pottery workshops

Bahla's pottery is famed throughout Oman, and almost all households have at least a couple of Bahla pieces. The clay is from the wadi floor, and traditional kilns are still used. Pieces range in price from 100 Bzs for small bowls to OMR 12 for large decorative pots.

BUY   —  Hwy 21

Mosques of the Saints

Three old mosques in an ancient cemetery mark the tombs of medieval Sufi hermits who were believed to be in communion with djinn. According to one old legend the mosque in the middle was flown in intact from Rustaq, nearly 90 km away.

SEE   —  Map

Jibreen Hotel

Has clean, comfortable rooms. Nonsmoking, with onsite restaurant and free Wi-Fi in public spaces.

Oman National Transport Company

Runs daily buses to and from Muscat via Nizwa.

About Bahla

The fortress and the town are enclosed by the extensive remnants of a 12-km long fortified wall. Most buildings in the town are constructed of traditional mud brick, many of them hundreds of years old. The best view of the fortifications and the fortress can be had from just outside the western entrance, near the Jabrin junction. Bahla is also known in Oman as ''Madinat Al Sehr'' ('City of Magic') due to its long association with djinn and sorcerers, an association continuing to the present day.


Source: wikivoyage