This post is part of a series on Bahrain’s tourist attractions, notable places of interest, and just about everything I love about the island. Bahrain has been home to me since May 2007.
As Bahrain climate has relatively short winters, we take advantage of it by outdoor sightseeing + activities as much as we can. 🙂
So one weekend, we woke up early, got on Dwight’s car and embarked on a “Forts and Culture Tour.” Yes, there are several forts in Bahrain. Aside from Bahrain Fort in Karbabad, there is also Riffa Fort and Arad Fort.
Arad Fort (Arabic: قلعة عراد; translated: Qal’at ‘Arad) is a 15th century fort located in Arad, Bahrain.
Arad Fort was built in the typical style of Islamic forts during the 15th century A.D. before the Portuguese invasion of Bahrain in 1622 A.D. This fort is one of the compact defensive forts in Bahrain.
In its present location, it overlooks various sea passages of Muharraq’s shallow seashores. In the past, there was an inaccessible marine channel which was controlled by the local people to prevent ships from breaking through to the island where the fort is located.
The fort is square and on every corner there is a cylindrical tower. It is surrounded by a small trench which used to be filled with water from wells that were drilled especially for their purpose. In every corner of the upper wall of the fort there are nose shaped openings for marksmen.
Close to the Bahrain International Airport, the fort has been extensively renovated and presents a magnificent sight when it is illuminated at night.
Traditional materials have been used in the renovation and maintenance of the fort after making extensive analysis of the original materials such as sea stones, lime, sand, and palm trunks. No cement or any other materials which are not in harmony with the historical building or which reduce its historical value have been used.
Arad Fort is one of Bahrain’s most important fortified castles. The Fort was built in the style of Islamic forts at the end of the 15th and early 16th centuries.
Due to its strategic location overlooking various sea passages of Muharraq Island, Arad Fort was used as a defensive fortress throughout history, from the time Bahrain was occupied by the Portuguese in the 16thcentury to the reign of Shaikh Salman Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa in the 19th century.
Arad Fort was most recently restored in the 1980’s, a process which took three years. In order to maintain the historical authenticity and value of Arad Fort, exclusively traditional materials were used, such as coral stone, lime and tree trunks.
It is believed that the fort was used by the Omanis during their brief occupation of Bahrain in 1800, and it is located adjacent to the strategic waterways between Bahrain Island and Muharraq Island.
Little is known of the fort’s history, and there is no firm evidence of the precise date of construction, but comprehensive excavations have been undertaken in order to discover its past. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arad_Fort)