Husn Al Heem (Nakhal Fort)


Husn Al Heem (Nakhal Fort)

Nikon F4 & Micro-Nikkor f 4 AI  200 mm lens (That is not a misprint, it functions very well as a telephoto lens as well as a macro)   T-max 400 @ 320 in T-max developer 1+4.

Husn Al Heem (Nakhal Fort) The origins of which probably date to pre-Islamic times, the structure being continuously remodelled over the centuries; this included a substantial rebuild in the mid-seventeenth century. The present gateway and towers were apparently added about 1834 during the reign of imam Said bin Sultan.

 It would seem debatable when Nakhal (or Nakhl ) had its first fort at this location, but there is growing evidence that there has been some sort of fortified structure on the rocky outcrop for a very long time. So it is not inconceivable that it was strengthened or remodelled during the Ya’aruba Dynasty.

The Ya’aruba Dynasty (1624 – 1744): Ya’aruba Imams introduced a period of renaissance in Oman’s fortunes both at home and abroad, by uniting the country and bringing it a great deal of prosperity. It was under the Ya’aruba dynasty that many of the imposing castles in Oman were built.

This is what some of the fort looked like before the substantial refurbishment was started in about 1990.

Nakhl-Fort-(Al-Batinah)The above is made from a similar position to the one in the previous post – Traditional Omani Fort.

Nakhl Fort (Al-Batinah)Unfortunately this has a slight colour cast in the sky: this is an old Kodak C41 negative processed by a local shop as I did not have the means to do it my self in those days.  could probably remove in Photoshop but hay-ho……..

I am not sure why there is this desire for what is substantially a rebuild;  even if all the materials and building practises follow the old traditional ways. but it does generate a lot of interest from visitors so maybe it is just me.

I tend to think castles should be stabilised and left as they are, such as is the case in the UK with the ones mostly built by that ‘Jumped-up Norman’

8 thoughts on “Husn Al Heem (Nakhal Fort)

  1. I suppose that history usually interest me more than the relics of the past. Though in some cases, the relics can be very interesting, Were the forts always built by the local residents? Or were there invaders who tried to hold out in the territory?

    1. Those dastardly Portuguese….. Decided that Oman had some strategic importance and invaded several areas of the country and built or restored a number of forts.
      This and the Persians who had made incursions into the country on a number of occasions, made Oman rather untrusting of outsiders. Hence all the major towns especially those within easy reach of the coast, got some protection by building themselves forts of one description or another.
      Most of the towers one sees are a result of local tribal squabbles.
      But intriguingly, some of the towers were for ‘star’ gazing: then again given that Oman has been one of the most tolerant and forward looking of any in the region, it is probably not surprising they used them for that purposes.
      Your typical seafaring nation, with influence from North Africa all the way to China.
      It would seem that it was only during the reign of the previous Sultan, that a period of austerity and dare I say ignorance of the outside world seems to have been introduced.


  2. I like what you have done here there is tonal quality in the mountains and the castle has contrasted well against the mountains.
    I like you reference to William the conqueror – I have just come back from Hastings last weekend. The Victorian pier has more appeal than the ruin on the hill.

        1. Unfortunately there is not much I could do about them other than keep the depth of field slightly narrow, (is that the problem ?) If they were sharp then the castle looked less prominent.
          The terrain here is quite stark without vegetation so can look as if it merges into one great mass.


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