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Tags : Forts & Palaces

Time Required : Less than 1 hour

Entry Fee : Entry strictly by permit

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Al Jalali Fort, Muscat Overview

The massive Al Jalali Fort, also known as Ash Sharqiya Fort, was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Interestingly it once used to be a prison which has been converted to a heritage private museum. Being located on the harbour, the Al Jalali Fort offers a beautiful view of the entire city of Muscat. The only entrance to this place is through a steep flight of stairs in the front. The entry to this fort is strictly by permit only. You can apply to the Ministry Of National Heritage through the contact page on their website.

During specific palace military occasions, bagpipers are seen to put up a show at the Al Jalali Fort battlements with the Royal Dhow and Yacht being sailed into the harbour with complete grandiosity. The lights from the fire-works make the mighty fortress come alive and look gorgeous on such nights.

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Architecture of Al Jalali Fort

The Al Jalali Fort consists of two towers that are connected by a wall which has piercings in it made by gun ports for the cannons. The fort has massive doors with iron spikes. Inside, the structure has been very well maintained, with luxuries like fountains, pools and trees along with landscaped gardens. The centre of the Al Jalali fort has a courtyard with a number of trees planted on it and there are various levels in the fort with rooms and enclosures at each of them, built around the courtyard. There is an interconnected system of stairs that makes each of the levels accessible.

The fort features a number of cannons at the gun ports with a shot, ropes and other firing equipment. It also includes matchlocks and old muskets. The place is decorated with maps from historical times that have been put on display on the walls. One of these maps also includes a plaque that depicts the winds and the currents in the Muscat Bay. Mention also must be made of one room where the ceiling is made up of palm-logs and is beautifully designed with cultural relics of Oman.

As mentioned earlier, this place is now a heritage museum, and thus, has a number of objects from back those days. Many of these that are on display include rugs, pottery, jewellery, weapons of different kinds, and other household items. These are all displayed in the Square central tower of the fort.

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