Bahrain’s forts are symbolic of the rich heritage and history the Kingdom boasts. Evidence of the earliest civilisations on the island, these forts were known to be military bases or maritime harbours. Read on to learn more about these forts.
#1 Qal’at Al Bahrain
Dating back to 2300 BC and once known as Portugal Port in the capital of the Dilmun civilization, Qal’at Al Bahrain is one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom. Archaeological findings revealed that the site was used for residential, public, religious, military, and commercial purposes for about 5000 years.
#2 Bu Maher Fort
Built in 1840, Bu Maher Fort is steeped in seafaring and pearling history. The fort forms the first stop in the historical pearling path having once served as the main fishing harbour and gateway to and from the sea.
#3 Arad Fort
Qal’at ‘Arad (Arad Fort) once served as a defensive fortress in Bahrain. It is one of the oldest archaeological sites built in the Kingdom during the 15th century. It is one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bahrain.
#4 Riffa Fort
The Riffa Fort or Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed Al-Fateh Fort was built in 1812 primarily for military and defence purposes It later became a residential complex for the royals and was the birthplace of Sheikh Isa bin Ali, who ruled Bahrain from 1869to 1932. The fort contains a large facade, a garrison amid the chambers, a well, and a mosque. Today, it houses the Saffron Cafe overlooking the Al-Haniniya Valley and is open for visitors.
This article is part of an ongoing series – 51 Great Things About Bahrain as a tribute to the Kingdom’s 51st National Day. Read more in this special edition.