The land of golden liquid and edge of the world, Saudi Arabia is brimmed with many majestic places and home to many architectural marvels which reflect the classical era. There are many pulchritudinous forts in Saudi Arabia, making it a top attraction for tourists from all over the world. The magnificent antiquity exhibits the various victory tales and the lifestyle of the bygone era (an era before oil). Here is a list of some forts which will take you back in time and will explain their fairytales.

8 Forts in Saudi Arabia: Every Fort has a Story to Tell

Saudi Arabia is famous for its antique architectural marvels. Presenting you a list of renowned forts in Saudi Arabia that will connect you to the classics.

1. Masmak Fort

Masmak Fort

Known as the symbol of unification, the Masmak Fort is an architectural marvel made by clay and mud bricks in the mid-nineteenth century. Located on edge of the world, Riyadh and build by Abdurrahman ibn Sulaiman in 1895, the Masmak Fort is renowned place which has served various purposes. From being a home to garrisons to an ammunition warehouse, later a palace who has seen the winning battle of Riyadh to finally made a museum in 1995, displaying several antique guns, costumes and agricultural artifacts.

The heirlooms showcased in here exhibits the struggles of the fort and the culture of the people at that time. Build in a span of 30 years, this historical landmark, can be divided into 6 sections: the gate, the mosque, the majlis, the towers, the well, and the courtyard. This fort is amongst the most famous forts in Saudi Arabia which attracts flocks of tourists.

Location: Qasr al-Masmak, Al Imam Turki ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad, Dirah, Riyadh 12652

2. Madrid Castle

Madrid Castle
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Dating back to the third century AC, the Madrid Castle is constructed on a rocky plateau which is hundreds of meters above sea level in the ancient oasis town of Dumat Al-Jandal. The fortress was used to protect the area by the enemies. The oldest surviving forts in Saudi Arabia, the Madrid was called as the impenetrable by Arab Queen Zenobia, after multiple attempts of conquering this majestic place. The primordial castle is an imperial depicting its glorious victory tale to the tourists. The cityscapes and the castle built on top is a picturesque and a great attraction for panoramic photo shoots.

Due to the decrepit, in 2018, The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has launched a project to repair the castle and a cafe and a traditional restaurant have been built in the castle which are a great attraction for tourists in the contemporary.

Location: Alkhaldiyah, Dumah Al Jandal 74665, Saudi Arabia

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3. Uqair Fort

Uqair Fort
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The Uqair Fort was built by the sea, to protect the region from foreign invaders and enemies coming from sea route. The fort relishes a pulchritudinous view from the beach nearby, making it a complete picturesque. The antiquity and the magnificence of the fort makes it a great place to explore. A relaxing walk on the beach while relishing in the splendid view of the ancient fort, is among the best things to do in Saudi Arabia.

Location: Uqair, Saudi Arabia

4. Tarout Castle

Tarout Castle

Located at the top of a hill in the Tarout Island, the Taraout castle was built about 5000 BC. The castle was built over an old Phoenician temple during the rise of Dilmun civilization and dedicated to the worship of Mesopotamian goddesses. The castle is on the highest point of the Island making it one of the attractions in Saudi Arabia. There was a spring beside the castle called "Ayyin Aloudda" in the past time. Now, the hill top beautiful landscapes and the tranquil town vibes will take you back in the Tarout tales and inscriptions of the Mesopotamian Gods makes this a must visit place in Saudi Arabia.

Location: Az Zomorod, 7444،, Tarout 32615, Saudi Arabia

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5. Shanqal Fort

Shanqal Fort
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Like other forts in Saudi Arabia, the Shanqal Fort is located at a hill above the sea level to protect the region from foreign invaders and enemies. Located near the city of Turabah, the construction of the fort was done by a prince of Al-Baqum tribe and believed that it was a residence of Sheikh Abdurrahman bin Sultan al-Badri. The resplendent fort was a residence of the prince and thus it was protected by a lot of armed men all the time. Now, the decrepit fort depicts ancient tales of the kingdom.

Location: Turabah, Saudi Arabia

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6. Asfan Castle

Asfan Castle

Located in in Asfan Village, 30 km North of both Jeddah and Mecca, the Asfan castle is an antiquity build in 18th century. The small castle beholds ammunition storage and ready sites for light Artillery. The imperial fort was used to protect the region from invaders and the fort witnessed the Ottoman-Saudi War but there is no reference to the story. The castle doesn’t have much to tell but one can definitely explore this architectural marvel and understand the forgone past.

Location: 23796, 30 km North of both Jeddah and Mecca, Saudi Arabia

7. Qamus Fort

Qamus Fort
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Located near Khaybar oasis, the Qamus fort is a modern structure built on basalt rock. Also known as the ’Mountain of Jews’, the Qamus fort is now in a decrepit state. Before the rise of Islam, this fort town had been inhabited by Jewish tribes. It is believed that the fort was attacked by the Muslim invaders in in 629 CE and they later captured it, as confirmed by the Harran Inscription. The remains there are thoght to be of Qamus fort but there is no evidence to prove this. This Saudi Arabia fort and the Khaybar Dam nearby are a must visit place.

Location: Khybar, Saudi Arabia

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8. Qatif Castle

Qatif Castle
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Located in the city of Qatif, the Qatif Castle dates back to third century and was under Sassanids, officially known as the empire of Iranians. Later refurbished by Ottomans and they utilized it as a defensive military base. The castle is a massive edifice comprising of 11 mosques, a keep for the king, keeps for the guests and the whole castle is surrounded by citadel walls. It also had farmlands for orchids. The castle was destroyed in 1980’s due to the ownership dispute but the old remains of the castle still depicts its antiquity tales.

Location: Qasif, Saudi Arabia.

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Mesmerized in the fascinating antiquity? Well, the ancient castles and fortress are so alluring that one can get lost in their architectural charm. Book your flights today and pack your fancy bags to connect deeply to the ancient fairytales, the forts have to tell you. Saudi Arabia is  home to a total of 78 castles and fortresses to give one lifetime memory. December is the best month to visit Saudi Arabia. The imperial artifacts in the museums, located within the castles and the pulchritudinous inscriptions and resplendent architecture make it must visit place.


Q1. What makes Masmak Fort very famous in Saudi Arabia?

The Masmak Fort in Saudi Arabia is known as a symbol of unification and is very famous for its architecture. Made with clay and mud-bricks in the mid-nineteenth century, it is located at Riyadh. In ancient times, it used to save the region from enemies, the fort has seen the battle of Riyadh and is now a museum.

Q2. Which fort is known as the oldest in Saudi Arabia?

The Madrid Castle is the oldest surviving fort in Saudi Arabia. Located on a rocky hill, the castle was used to protect the region from enemies and invaders. The cityscapes from the castle and the traditional restaurant and café attracts tourists in this beautiful antiquity.

Q3. What is so famous about Uqair fort?

The Uqair fort was built to protect the region from foreign invaders and enemies from the sea. As the fort is located by the sea, the charming beach views and sunset are attraction for the tourists. One can spend tranquil time on the beach while enjoying the picturesque.

Q4. What is Trout Castle known for?

The Tarout castle was built on the base of an old Phoenician temple during the rise of Dilmun civilization and dedicated to the worship of Mesopotamian goddesses. The inscriptions of the Mesopotamian Gods make this a must visit place in Saudi Arabia.

Q5. What makes Shanqual fort a famous place?

It is believed that the Shanqual fort was built by a prince of Al-Baqum tribe and believed that Sheikh Abdurrahman bin Sultan al-Badri used to live here. The armed men in the fort used to protect the region from the enemies.

Q6. How many airports are there in Saudi Arabia?

There a total of 35 airports in Saudi Arabia, amongst which 6 are international airports. The Jeedah airport is the biggest and busiest airport in Saudi Arabia.

Q7. What is the best time to visit Saudi Arabia?

The best months to visit Saudi Arabia are between November and February. At that time the weather is mild and pleasant as compared to other summer months when the temperature is very hot.

Q8. What are the famous forts in Saudi Arabia?

There are a total of 78 castles and fortress within Saudi Arabia. Among them the famous forts are:

  • Masmak Fort
  • Madrid Castle
  • Uqair Fort
  • Tarout Castle
  • Shanqal Fort