|The Zubarah Fort.|
|Owner||Qatari Government; Ministry of Tourism, Qatar Museums Authority|
|Controlled by||1938-present: Qatar|
|In use||1938-mid 1980s: Coast Guard Station
mid 1980s-present: Museum
|Built by||Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani|
|Materials||Limestone, Compressed Mud and Wood|
Zubarah Fort (Arabic: حصن الزبارة), also known as Fort Zubara(h), Zubara Fort, Al Zubara(h) Fort, or Az Zubara(h) Fort, is a historic Qatari military fortress built under the oversight of Sheikh Abdullah bin Qassim Al Thani in 1938.
The Zubarah Fort was originally built by Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani in 1938 to serve as a Coast Guard station, although some utter that it was built to serve as a police station. It was later renovated into a museum to display diverse exhibits and artworks, most especially for contemporarily topical archaeological findings.
The Zubarah Fort is situated in the antique yet chronological town of Zubarah, which in turn is located on the northwestern coast of the Qatar peninsula in the Madinat ash Shamal municipality, and is about 105 km from the Qatari capital of Doha.
Zubarah (Arabic: الزبارة "Zubarah"), also known as Al Zubarah or Az Zubarah, the town where the Zubarah Fort is situated in, is a deserted town located on the northwestern coast of the Qatari Peninsula, in the municipality of Madinat ash Shamal, which in turn, is about 105 km from Doha, the capital city and state of Qatar (The geography of both Zubarah and Zubarah Fort are the same since the latter is located in Zubarah). Zubarah covers an area of approximately 400 hectares and about 60 hectares inside the outer town wall, thus Zubarah being the largest archaeological site in the whole Qatari Peninsula.
It was once a thriving pearl fishing and trading port positioned midway between the Strait of Hormuz and the west arm of the Persian Gulf. It is one of the largest and best preserved examples of an 18th-19th century merchant town in the Gulf. The entire layout and urban fabric of a settlement dating to this formative period in the region has been preserved as no other similar place in the Gulf. Al Zubarah provides an important insight into urban life, spatial organization, and the social and economic history of the Gulf before the discovery of oil and gas in the 20th century.
Lofty, compact walls, substantial and profuse in broadness, swathe this eminent fort which are one meter in length and bulk. It was said that the walls of the fort were fabricated and were put together by merging and blending overlapping raw pieces of coral stones, specifically limestone, with a mortar and a pestle specifically conceived for grinding mud. The fort has a protective roof that was jury-rigged by utilizing compressed mud. The roof endows shade and coolness for the ones inside the fort. The fort's roof was also erected for the soldiers who would patrol and traverse the surrounding areas for enemies. The fort has three, gargantuan yet superbly conceived corners, each having massive, circular towers on top, which are geared with diverse varieties of Qatari-style defenses, with the fourth one as the most picturesque corner, as it has a rectangular tower with exquisite triangular-based ledges with slits that are called machicolations. Of course, the soldiers themselves had their own respective rooms. Eight rooms were constructed to accommodate such valiant and patriotic soldiers which are situated in the ground floor. These rooms were just converted recently to house exhibits, artworks and other archaeological findings. The fort has external staircases which were used to climb up to the fort's floors and roof.
For more information about the Zubarah Fort's structure, see the table below.
|Parts of the Fort||Type of Material Used||Features||Purpose|
|Walls||Coral Stones (Limestone)||For Protection|
|Roof||Compressed Mud||To Provide Shade|
|1st, 2nd and 3rd Circular Towers||Different Qatari-style Defenses||For Defense|
|Rectangular Tower||Triangular Ledges with Machicolations||Mainly For Design|
|Rooms (Present)||Cement/Compressed Mud||To House Exhibits and Recent Archaeological Findings|
|Rooms (Past)||Cement/Compressed Mud||To Accommodate the Soldiers|
|External Staircases||Wood||For Climbing Up to its Floors and the Roof|
Today, the Zubarah Fort serves as a museum and a famous landmark. As a result, a schedule for opening and closing the fort for visitors and tourists is needed. The fort is open regularly from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. except for early Friday mornings and Saturdays.
|Sunday||8 a.m. - 6 p.m.|
|Monday||8 a.m. - 6 p.m.|
|Tuesday||8 a.m. - 6 p.m.|
|Wednesday||8 a.m. - 6 p.m.|
|Thursday||8 a.m. - 6 p.m.|
|Friday||Closed in the morning, opened early in the afternoon|
Click on the thumbnail to enlarge.
Zubarah Fort as a whole, shot from the fort's machicolated rectangular tower.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Zubarah.|
- Qatar Tourism Authority - Forts
- Al Zubarah Fort :: Qatar Visitor
- Embassy of Qatar - Major Museums & Forts
Zubarah travel guide from Wikivoyage