Bahla Fort - Atlas Obscura

Bahla Fort

Bahla, Oman

If you dare visit this fort, fire-breathing hyenas might devour your camels. 


The reason why some people are not willing to set foot anywhere near the town of Bahla is also why others flock to this location. 

It’s said that during the 13th century, Bahla was on the verge of attack by a neighboring chiefdom. Banu Nebhan, the ruler of Bahla, called on a powerful djinn and the Bahla Fort appeared out of nowhere. Soon after, a man was stoned to death inside the fort because he was accused of practicing witchcraft. His ghosts would materialize and undo any progress aimed at renovating the fort.

This was just the beginning. To this day, the reasons for not visiting Bahla are as colorful as they get. Fire-breathing hyenas could eat your camels. Your cows may get milked by a ghost at night. You may be turned into a donkey or die if you touch a particular tree inside the fort.

Bahla Fort was re-opened in 2012, after many years of restoration work. Its mosques, wells, and towers are prime examples of medieval architecture. The oldest part of the fort is called Al Qabasah and it consists of five rooms that may be from the original 13th-century building. 

The rest of the fort is either from the 17th or 19th century when two major expansions took place. The fort is an integral part of a fortified wall that circumscribes the ancient oasis for eight miles (13 kilometers).

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March 28, 2024

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