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Nakhal Fort restoration work in advanced stages: Ministry

2 Jun 2021

The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is continuing restoration work of Nakhal Fort in earnest.

It said maintenance and restoration work is in advanced stages and added that it continues to restore and maintain forts and castles in the sultanate that are distinguished by architectural diversity. 

The Nakhl Fort is an important tourist attraction in the wilayat of Nakhl in particular and the Governorate of South Batinah in general.

‘We followed a systematic plan in the restoration process, which includes maintenance work on the entire exterior facades, removing the damaged outer layers, treating the interior ceilings, floors and walls of internal rooms, and preparing water drainage areas and general electrical connections in the castle,’ the ministry said.

‘The process aims to preserve the character and identity of the fort by using traditional materials in restoration and preserving all architectural elements without changing them. The restoration process is carried out with prudence and caution by using manual equipment and not using heavy equipment that may affect the structure of the building.’

The Nakhal Fort has derived its name from the wilayat itself. The fort lies amidst palm orchards. It is an entrenched building that rises above a rocky hill at the base of Mount Nakhal in the northeast of Jebel Akhdar.

The fort, also called Husn al Heem, lies 120km from the capital Muscat and is located at the entrance of wilayat Nakhal in Wadi Ar Raqeem.

The fort’s architecture does not follow a particular pattern, as it was designed around an irregularly shaped rock. Visitors will find that some rock parts have become part of the building. This can be observed in some towers, particularly on the fort’s western side. The construction of the fort dates back to the pre-Islamic era.

According to the National Centre for Statics and Information, the number of visitors to Oman’s 51 castles and forts increased by 71.2 per cent between 2015 and 2019 to 426,525 visitors, while the total number of employees at these sites grew to 110 workers.

 

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