Al-Mukalla – Hadhramaut, Yemen
Coordinates: 14.558380, 49.136460
- Bir ali crater 100.54 Km SW (234°)
- Bi’r Ali beach 103.54 Km SW (234°)
- Al hajarayn 134.20 Km NW (320°)
Al-Ghwayzi Fort is one of the old fortresses in Al-Mukalla, the capital of Hadhramaut Governorate in Yemen. It is considered an architectural masterpiece built on the foot of a rock designed to protect the city from Bedouin attacks. It dates back to 1716 when the sultans of the Emirate of Al-Qasad ruled Hadramout. The fort is located in the northeastern entrance of Mukalla, the capital of Hadhramaut, a historic center for visitors surrounded by a public park.
Historical sources indicate that the purpose of its establishment was to monitor the military raids, which were targeting the city of Mukalla on the coast of the Arabian Sea from the direction of the north, especially those raids were launched by the Sultanate many of the time taken from the city of Sioun present.
The fort consists of two floors. The first floor has several rooms, in which its outer walls have several circular windows facing all directions. The second floor is characterized by its wide windows. The fortress roof is surrounded by a barrier that reaches up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) from the roof level. The building materials for the barrier were traditional stones. The rest of the fort was built with straw-battered bricks and a roof with palm trunks. Its external walls were recently painted with white plaster.
Although many archaeologists have cautioned against the fortress’s negligence, which turned into a birdhouse and facing severe damages, the General Authority of Antiquities are unable to make a serious move for preservation due to lack of budget to begin the restoration work. The Commission stated that if restored, it could be turned into a famous tourist attraction that generates considerable income that can assist the province’s improvement, which needs substantial funding to improve its other tourist spots similarly subject to destruction.
The other problems faced by Al-Ghwayzi Fortress today are the slum buildings surrounding the building and many modern houses, crawling towards the area adjacent to the fort and threatening its current location. The fever of tourism investments can destroy the fortress under many pretexts. The most important of which is the location overlooking the city of Mukalla. There is a concern regarding the exploitation of its site in order to build hotels or tourist chalets.
By Ljuba brank – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47154688
By Email4mobile – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11322459
image di spencer