26 March 2021

Dhee Ayn Ancient Village

The historical village of Dhee Ayn is located down the Sarawat mountains from the City of Al-Bahah. It is a well preserved historical site and you can walk from the car park to the top of the highest building quite easily. The village dates back about 400 years, and it witnessed the battles between the Ottoman Turks and its inhabitants. Below the village is a natural spring that provides water to a lush oasis surrounding the bottom of the hill. The village was named after a water spring that flows continuously from the nearby mountains to several reservoirs, and each particular pond has its own name. There is a local legend that tells of a man who lost his cane in one of the valleys, and to retrieve it he tracked it until he reached the village, where he enlisted the help of the inhabitants and retrieved his cane after digging up the spring. The village has 49 dwellings, 9 of which are composed of one floor, 19 from two floors, 11 from three floors and 10 from four floors. The village was constructed using load-bearing walls ("Medamik") and the thickness of the walls are between 0.7 to almost 0.9 meters. Structures are roofed using cedar wood. The big rooms are roofed using columns known as "Al-zafer", and above the cedar wood there is a kind of stone known as "Salat", and the stones are covered with mud. The lower floors are the reception and living areas, the upper floors for sleeping. Some of the buildings still exist since the establishment of the village, some are partially run-down but some are completely demolished. According to the UNESCO website "The Traditional Village of Zee Ain in Al-Baha is an outstanding example of traditional human settlements that are perfectly adapted to their environment and their social and economic raison d’être"