December 28, 2012

0437 OMAN - The forts of Rostaq and al-Hazm (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

0437 Rustaq fort

Rustaq, located in the middle of a large oasis in the Al Batinah Region, was the capital of Oman during the time of Nasir bin Murshid, the first Imam of the state of Al Ya’arubahs, who achieved Omani unity in his rule until 1649 AD (1059 AH). Rustaq is an area of healing warm springs, the main occupations there being beekeeping, but also sheep grazing, and on the foothills of the Akhdar Mountains are grown fruits. Omay Halwa is also produced in Rustaq.

Rustaq fort, originally called Qalat Al Kisra after the Persian who controlled the land between Sohar and Ar Rustaq in the 7th century, was built four centuries prior to the dawn of Islam in Oman, but was reconstructed a number of times, over the passing years. The Julandas built on the Persian ruins, and Nasir bin Murshid rebuilt it when he moved the capital from Bahla to Ar Rustaq.

The fort is an structure built on three levels, containing houses, an armoury, a mosque and four towers, called Al Burj Al Ahmar (the red tower), Burj Al Hadeeth, Burj Al Reeh (the wind tower) and Burj Ashiateen (the devil’s tower). The tallest tower stands over 18.5m high and has a diameter of 6m. Hazm Fort is an representative example of Omani Islamic architecture and was built in 1711 AD. Its walls can withstand great impact, at no less than 3m thick at any point.

The fort has four gates on the ground floor. Apart from the main door, the other doors are regarded as Al Wasut, Al Sharjah and Al Ya’ aruba. The second floor has six living rooms. Can be reached on the center of the fort via a series of heavy wooden doors, with slits concealed, through which defenders can pour hot oil as a defense to intruders. It served as Talib bin Ali’s home during the Jabal war in the 1950s.

About the stamps I wrote here.

Rustaq - Wikipedia
Ar Rustaq Fort -
Al'Yaruba State - Sultanate of Oman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs official website
The forts of Rostaq and al-Hazm - UNESCO official website

Sender: Cresalde Jumbas Victoriano (direct swap)
Sent from Muscat (Oman), on 03.11.2012

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