Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bahla Fort, Oman

Hello everyone! We are having a rainy gloomy cold Sunday here....perfect for postcards since I cant use my weekend and go out in fresh air. Well, it's been a crappy weekend in know, the ones when things just go the wrong way or you feel surrounded with this bad karma...but lets not get down to that, there are lot of brighter things to talk about, like for example, my very first card from Oman :D :D :D

My new Austrian friend Susanne was already very kind to send me the Armenian postcards, and this time she actually remembered me during her trip to Oman and sent me a postcard from there!! Im just sooooooo thrilled and happy and honoured! The thoughtfulness and generosity of people never ceases to amaze me!
And moreover, this is a UNESCO site! Wohoooo!!!
This card shows the Bahla Fort. It is an outstanding example of the characteristic military architecture of the Sultanate of Oman. Not far from the capital of Oman, the oasis of Bahla owed its prosperity to the Banu Nabhan who, from the mid-12th to the end of the 15th centuries, imposed their rule on the other tribes. Only the ruins of what was a glorious past now remain in this magnificent mountain site. Built on a stone base, the adobe walls and towers of the immense fort probably include some structural elements of the pre-Islamic period, but the major part of the constructions dates from the prosperous time of the Banu Nabhan, with the latest reconstruction dating from the beginning of the 16th century. At the foot of the fort, to the south-west, lies the Friday Mosque with its beautiful sculpted mihrab (prayer niche) probably dating back to the 14th century.
These monuments are inseparable from the small town of Bahla and its souk, palm grove and adobe ramparts surrounding the oasis, a remarkable work with towers, doors and underground irrigation channels.
The monuments of Bahla were in a critical state when it was inscribed on the World Heritage List. It had never been restored (thereby conserving a high degree of authenticity), and was not protected by any conservation measures. The terrace of the Friday Mosque had not undergone maintenance work, and it collapsed between 1981 and 1983, causing the arches to cave in and the wall plastering to be torn away, thus endangering the mihrab (prayer niche) in the building, which the Ibadite community had abandoned in favour of the new mosque. A detailed survey was made in 1977 by the Omani Archaeology Department, but restoration work did not make any headway until 1988. This was entirely financed by the Omani Government, with photogrammetric recording by the Mining Museum in Bochum (Germany). By 2005 it was virtually complete

the two stamps on the card are definitives from a set of 4 issued in 2001, representing the Al-Khanjar A'Suri.
Thank you Susanne soooo sooo much!!!! You made me really happy with this! <3  

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