30 October 2021

Masmak Fort – Riyadh

The Masmak Fort is a clay and mudbrick fort in the old city of Riyadh, situated in the modern-day Deira district. Built in 1865 by 'Abdurrahman ibn Sulaiman under the Emirate of Jabal Shammar, The fortress played an integral role in the Unification of Saudi Arabia, with the Battle of Riyadh, one of the most important conflicts of the Saudi unification, taking place in the fort. The name 'Masmak' is derived from the Arabic ‘musamaka’ which means the high, fortified, thick and huge. Its rectangular shape comprises characteristic features of Arabian fortresses with four defensive towers, a watchtower, high walls, stair-shaped crenellations, and triangular reconnaissance points and firing apertures. Its numerous rooms include offices and a mosque with columns that support the roof, and one of the courtyards has a well. Today the fort is a museum where the history of the Al-Saud family and their kingdoms is exhibited and explained.