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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.

History of Bahla

Bahla is renowned for being the site of one of Oman’s oldest fortresses, the Bahla Fort, dating back to the 13th century, which has earned recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounding the fortress and the town is an extensive 12-kilometer-long fortified wall, showcasing the historical significance of the area. The majority of buildings in Bahla are constructed using traditional mud brick, with many of them boasting centuries of history.

A short distance from Bahla stands the impressive Castle of Jabreen, a grand three-story structure constructed during the Al Ya’ruba dynasty in the mid-17th century. This castle is a remarkable example of Islamic architecture, adorned with intricate wooden inscriptions and paintings on its ceilings.

With a history dating back to 3000 BC, Bahla has witnessed numerous significant historical events, some of which are documented in historical records while others remain shrouded in mystery. Bahla served as the Nabāhina’s second capital city, following Nizwa, during the early period of their dynasty (549-906 AH / 1154-1500 AD), and later became the primary capital during their second period (964-1034 AH / 1556-1624 AD).

Oman’s rich civilization stretches back thousands of years, with the country playing a pivotal role in the ancient trade in frankincense, a valuable commodity considered more precious than gold in biblical times. Famed for its seafaring tradition, Oman was ruled by the Sultans who presided over a prosperous trading empire spanning from the coast of East Africa to the Indian subcontinent during the 16th to the 19th centuries. Rustaq, Izki, Nizwa, and Bahla, along with their impressive fortresses, stand as testaments to Oman’s rich heritage at the foot of Djebel Akhdar.

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