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Bidah Valley, Saudi Arabia

Marble Village of Dhee Ayn

Village of slate houses, built on a white marble outcrop 

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Dhee Ayn or, as it is also known, Aqabat al-Baha, is visible for several kilometers as one approaches the village. Even from a distance the place can easily be located by the white glow it surrounds. The houses of the village itself are not made of marble, but of flake stones and slate. Instead, the village got the moniker "Marble Village," for the rocky outcrop it is built upon.

The outcrop is a gleaming rocky hill of white marble, which stands in sharp contrast to the grayish dark slates that the houses are constructed. The gray mountains that tower behind the outcrop and the green fields in the foreground add to shining marble that forms a foundation for the village.

Even the road that leads to the village is impressive, and several historical stone and slate towers dot the way. Al-Bahah Province is known as the region of 1001 towers, once built to protect villages, roads and plantations from rivalling tribes. Today, these towers are abandoned, and many of them are partially or completely in ruins.

The 400-year old village was also abandoned around 30 to 40 years ago, which makes the village even more atmospheric. Visitors should be extremely careful when wandering around as many of the structures are dilapidated and in a serious state of decay. Some of the weaker structures have already collapsed under the weight of natural forces and 400 years time.

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Dhee Ayn, Mantiqat al-Bahah, Saudi Arabia

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