Al Hisn fort in Sharjah , the home of the Al Qassimi ruling family of Sharjah since 1820, but nearly totally demolished in 1969, when the present ruler, who was abroad, managed to rush home to try to stop the demolition.The Fort was restored 20 years later with the original doors and windows saved from the demolished fort.
The Fort stands in the centre of what was old Sharjah, an area redeveloped in the 60’s, so is dwarfed by some decaying apartment blocks, one of which was being demolished on my visit.
Beautifully restored, it’s a fascinating place to visit with plenty of Gulf and family history, lots of arrow slits, boiling oil channels and rifle holes in the walls, some wonderful old muskets, rifles and swords, used in the defence of the fort plus a splendid gold handled and sheathed sword owned by the then ruler.
Life within the walls must have been very traditional. A well within the walls, cool, shaded covered walkways, wind towers, little respite from the intense desert heat in those days in this hot and arid land. Cannons surrounded the fort, and the weapons in the museum area give a glimpse of the daily strife that must have been prevalent in those days.
At the entrance, a thick door and walls lead to the fort’s prison where the incarcerated souls lay chained on the floor of a circular turret, with the guards posted on the a wooden floor above, cut out so the inmates could be viewed from above. Nicely air-conditioned now, it must have been purgatory in the days when it used as a jail.
There are some lovely doors in the fort too…
And some of the other sights in the fort….
Linking to Norms Thursday Doors challenge, come and join in the fun….