Built as a fort during the reign of Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Khalifa in 1812, while another source claim that it was built during the rule of the Persian Safavid Empire of Iran over Bahrain during the 17th century, the fort was converted into a residence in the 19th century for Shaikh Salman Bin Ahmed (Al Fateh) Al Khalifa. Riffa Fort or (Arabic: قلعة الرفاع; transliterated: Qal'at ar-Rifa') it is now named (Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Fort) offers a splendid view across the Hunanaiya valley. With Riffa being home to the seat of government until 1869, this fort was strategically important in at the time.
Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa who ruled Bahrain from 1869 to 1932 was born in the fort. His house in Muharraq provides a glimpse of royal life in the 19th century, complete with architecture and wall carvings belonging to that era. It is also one of the best places to feel the effects of the wind tower.