Al Zareeb Castle

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The castle was constructed in 1617 to protect pilgrims and their belongings during their journey to and from the Hajj and is situated 10 km east of Al-Wajh and is encircled by mountains. Additionally, it served as a rest stop for pilgrims en route to Makkah. It is 7.5 kilometers from the international coastline route that connects Al-Wajh and other coastal regions including Yanbu, umluj, and Duba, and is well supplied with groundwater.

The fortress was constructed during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I of the Ottoman Empire along the path taken by pilgrims performing the Egyptian Hajj, or those traveling from North Africa and Egypt. It was bombed in 1916 during the Great Arab Revolt, and, in 2018, it underwent renovation. These kinds of castles were constructed in the shape of miniature cities.

The courtyards of the rectangular fortress are surrounded by a group of towers. The castle also has residences encircled by water wells and a space for worship (the musalla). It is regarded as one of the Tabuk region's most significant remaining archaeological sites. The stone fortress had two water storage ponds and an entrance on the eastern side. 

Al-Zareeb Castle serves as a reminder of the historical significance of fortresses, which aided pilgrims on their horse-and-donkey journeys to the holy places. These castles gave pilgrims a location to safely keep their belongings while they rested near water.

In 2018, to maintain the exterior of the castle's original appearance, the same kinds of stone and components were employed during the renovation process. On a hillside to the east of the castle, there is a cemetery. The graves of the warriors who fought to defend the pilgrims' passage are supposedly located there.

Given its significant contribution to the promotion of trade both before and after Islam, Al-Wajh city, which is located on the eastern shore of the Red Sea, is regarded as a significant historical port. There are several ancient landmarks in the city, and it is mentioned in the writings of Arab travelers, historians, and even adventurers like Sir Richard Burton.

  • imageDuration Required
    2 hours

Address of Al Zareeb Castle

10 km east of Al-Wajh, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

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