One of the most visited places in the Sultanate, the Nizwa Fort Oman is a combination of a castle, a fort and a museum. This great example of old Omani architecture is quite unique due to the circular shape of the tower which you can climb!
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About the Nizwa Fort
This is the entry of the Fort and Castle. A place not to be missed on your Oman itinerary !
The Nizwa Fort is actually a combination of a castle and a fort (the Tower only).
- The Fort was built at the beginning of the 17th century byt the Imam Sultan bin Saif Al Yarubi. It took approximately 12 years to complete.
- The tower has a 45m diameter and reacheds 34 meters in height. Its foundations extend 30m underground. (which is what was displayed at the fort, but the Lonely Planet and the Oman tourism website have different dimensions...)
- The platform of the tower is accessed via a narrow staircase (60 steps). At each turn, 10cm thick wooden doors depend against there
- Originally built in the 9th century and renewed in 1624.
- It contained rooms for the Imam, his family, his guests and the royal guards. Those rooms are decorated and used to display artefacts
- There were also a kitchen, coffee-making room and a date store which you can see
Below is a representation of the Tower and surrounding castle:
At the entrance of the fort, your can also find a maps wiht th various room which can be visited:
- Exhibition Halls
- Date Store
- Ablution Room
Inside the castle, you can also find a 3D miniature version of the area:
One room also has photos of the restoration. Both the Castle and the Fort have been restored using traditional methods and materials. It was quite interesting to see the before and after.
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The Nizwa Castle structure
I really enjoyed walking around the castle and climbing on walls. The lines and level are all different and creating interesting geometrical visuals. This is parly why it made it on my list of top 10 things to do in Oman.
Don't miss climbing on those walks (being careful) to see the ruins of old houses left around the fort.
The exhibits inside the Nizwa Fort
Inside the castle are many exhibits to present the traditional way of living in Oman. The displays were nice and written in Arabic and English.
It is a simple museum and I liked it because it does not overwhelm you with information.
Below are a few shots of things you can see in the museum:
- Traditional Masks
- Coffee making
- Date Store - untaouched during the restoration process, was still in use during the 20th century
- Living quarters
Second level of the Nizwa Fort Oman
Next to the tower you can enter and see some decorated and non decorated rooms. You can also climb stairs to a terrace level where you get another view of thse geometrical superpositions.
Climbing the Nizwa Fort Tower
It’s worth climbing to the platform of the tower and then to each of the viewpoints. From there you can see the oasis and th Hajar Mountains.
Don't forget to look at the thick door and traps to stop attacks on the fort.
And if you want to know more about the fort's protection system, check out the post by Man on the Lam with a drwaing of how murder holes worked.
View from the Fort of Nizwa
When you reach the platform you see 3 set of stairs at one third of the perimeter. You can also admire canons if you are into firearms. I prefered the views.
This view is the other reason why the Nizwa Fort made it on my list of top 10 things to do in Oman.
INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Nizwa Fort Oman
How to get to the Nizwa Fort
- Nizwa is 1h30 drive from Muscat
- Road 21 is the main road going through Nizwa, from there the fort is indicated
- If you don't want to drive, you can take join a day trip from Muscat covering Nizwa fort and Jabreen Castle - Check out the Program
GPS coordinates, easy-to-plan maps and practical info in the eBook: Experience Oman
The Nizwa Fort, along with many other beautiful places, is included in my eBook: Experience Oman.
It is a practical tool to plan your trip with maps, photos, planning tips, GPS coordinates...
Visiting the Nizwa Fort Oman
- Nizwa Fort Opening Hours: from 8am to 6pm, except on Fridays when it closes between 11:30 and 1:30.
- Toilets available inside the castle
- 60 steps to the center of the Tower and then 40 steps to each of the 3 viewpoints - the view is worth the climb
- Small entry charge
- Great visit to combine with the Nizwa Souq
- Nizwa is a great base to visit many highlights of the area such as Jebel Akdhar, Misfat Al Abriyeen, the Bahla Fort...
Want to see more of Oman's beauty?
Discover more things to do and places to see in Oman in my online Oman Destination Guide.
A great mixture of museum, architecture and views, don't you think?
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