Muscat: The restoration and maintenance of many castles, forts, ancient lanes, mosques, and archaeological sites continues unabated in Oman, reports Oman News Agency. The Ministry of Heritage and Culture, the vanguard of restoration of these projects, is working hard to preserve these souvenirs of Omani heritage to ensure they endure the passage of time for future generations to come.
Among the notable structures under various phases of works and completion are the archaeological mosque of Al-Owainah in the wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid whose construction dates back to the mid-sixteenth century AD, the Bait Fateh Al Kabir in Bousher, Nakhl castle which is considered one of the important historical castles with pillars that were distinguished by its size, Bibi Maryam Tomb in the historical city of Qalhat and Qurnat Qaid Mosque in Samail where the restoration works include removing the ceiling and peeling off the layers of previous restorations where modern materials were used.
Some of the key forts of Oman namely, the Barkha fort, Suwaiq fort, Samail fort and Al-Mahwil Fort in the Wilayat of Ja’alan Bani Bu Hassan, are the other restoration projects that were completed by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture which has restored 82 citadels, bastions and archaeological walls in the Sultanate.
The Ancient city of Qalhat which houses the Bibi Maryam mausoleum is also a UNESCO heritage site and one of the 14 UNESCO registered sites of Oman. Special guidelines and standards were followed in the restoration of this particular site to ensure its safety and also to keep its antiquity intact. The fifth phase of the restoration work in the city of Qalhat that was started in 2013 has also been completed in cooperation with the Foundation for the Support of Landmarks Fund, provisioned in the “Qalhat Development Project”.
Saleem Al Farrai, a resident of Nakhl told Gulf News that his town is known for the castle that has been featured in many journals and is the most photographed and painted ancient monument in Oman. “The Nakhl castle rises so beautifully among the surrounding topography. The efforts taken by the Omani government to restore these monuments while preserving its oldness is so commendable. Many citizens are also now keen to safeguard these national treasures and have been showcasing them through their Social Media handles. Another unique attraction of Nakhl is the hot spring, often visited by local residents and citizens,” added Saleem.