Sights in Riyadh

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Masmakh Fortress

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The fort built of dried mud, is open Saturday to Wednesday from 7.30am to 1.30pm. A permit is required which can be obtained from the museum. This is the fortress which Abdul Aziz and his followers captured in 1902 and which begins the history of present-day Saudi Arabia. There is a well restored traditional majlis on the ground floor. The courtyard contains a well, which is still functional. The courtyard is surrounded by six painted doors which open into empty rooms. On the upper level, there are amazingly carved walls and three columns which support the wooden roof.

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Riyadh Museum

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In the Ethnographic Hall is a large model of the Masmakh Fortress, which is central to the history of modern Saudi Arabia. This was the fort in Riyadh that Abdul Aziz and his followers captured in January 1902, thus returning the Al-Saud to a position of power in their homeland. (They had spent the previous 10 years in exile in Kuwait.) Besides the model of the fort, the display includes carved and painted doors from Qassim, the area north of Riyadh, and Qatif, a town which was once a major port on the Gulf. There are also clothes, musical instruments, weapons, traditional more..

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tel:+966 1 402-0303
openings:Open Saturday to Wednesday from 8am to 2pm. Admission is free.

Murabba Palace

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Built by King Abdul Aziz in 1946 as a home and seat of government, this combination palace/fortress.

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openings:Saturday to Wednesday from 8am to 2pm.

King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies

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Does good exhibits on Islamic art and culture. There is also a permanent exhibition on the treatment and preservation of old books and manuscripts.

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King Saud University Museum

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Displayed in the museum are objects from the university's archaeological excavations at Al-Fao and Rabdhah. The former is on the edge of the Empty Quarter (the vast sandy desert in the Kingdom's south-eastern corner) and was a pre-Islamic city between 300BC and AD300. The latter is about 100km east of Madinah and was a station on the pilgrimage road linking Makkah and Madinah to Persia and Iraq.

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tel:+966 1 467-8135.
openings:Saturday to Wednesday in the mornings. To visit it, an appointment must first be made through the university's public relations office

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