Bahla is a town, located 40 km away from Nizwa, and about 200 km from Oman’s capital Muscat which lies in the Ad Dakhiliyah Governorate of Oman.
Bahla is notable as the home of one of the oldest fortresses in the country, the 13th century Bahla Fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fortress and the town are enclosed by extensive remnants of a 12-km long fortified wall. Most buildings are constructed of traditional mud brick, many of them are hundreds of years old.
A short distance beyond Bahla lies the Castle of Jabreen, a massive three-story structure built during Al Ya’ruba dynasty in the mid of 17th century. The castle is an example of Islamic architecture with wooden inscriptions and paintings on its ceilings.
Bahla’s long history goes back to 3000 BC, and in past centuries Bahla bore witness to many important historical events, some of which are recorded in historical accounts while others are still unknown. Bahla was used as the Nabāhina’s second capital city, after Nizwa, during the first period of their dynasty (549-906 AH / 1154-1500 AD) and then became the main capital during their second period (964-1034 AH / 1556-1624 A). The Omani civilization dates back thousands of years. In biblical times the country was the hub of the rich trade in frankincense, the aromatic gum which was once considered more precious than gold. Known for their seafaring tradition, the Sultans of Oman ruled over a wealthy trading empire that stretched from the coast of East Africa to the tip of the Indian subcontinent from the 16th to the 19th centuries. At the foot of Djebel Akhdar lie the fortresses of Rustaq to the north, and Izki, Nizwa and Bahla to the south.