Nizwa Fort -- the most well-known of all

The fortress of Nizwa, Oman's former capital, consists mainly of a striking defense tower of gigantic diameter with imposing fortifications. From the battlements and through the crenellations one gleans a panoramic view of downtown Nizwa and the beautifully designed dome of the mosque.

 

Erected in the 17th century by Iman Sutlan bin Saif Al Ya'rubi, the huge tower is filled about halfway with rocks and earth to form an elevated platform on which 23 guns were positioned. According to the latest defense technology, the elaborate zigzag stairway was fitted with several false doors and traps in case enemies invaded the fortress.

In the outbuildings, the former prison, there is an interesting and vividly designed museum, which explains the rich history, culture and tradition of the region with exhibits, display boards and short films.

For some months Nizwa Fortress, which is one of the main tourist destinations, has been presenting traditional cooking and folkloric dance and music performances. Similarly, artifacts and craftsmanship are offered for sale in changing art exhibitions.

The fort has recently been opened to visitors also on Friday afternoons.