The buildings in old al-Qasr are made of mud. This mud-architecture with the nice organic forms looks wonderfull and gives the town its medieval atmosphere.
The mosque of old al-Qasr with its sculptural form looks beautifull.
In Al-Qasr in the Dakhla Oasis it is nice to walk through the labyrinth of streets of the old town. The place has a medieval atmosphere and reminds how other oasis towns must have been in ancient times.
It can be very hot, but in the shade of the narrow and covered streets it is okay for walking. During our walk we saw the mosque, a madrassa and mills for wheat and for olives
The old town in mud-brick architecture has retained much of its medieval character. The narrow covered streets retain cool in the hot summer and protect the inhabitants against sandstorms.
Some 700 people live in the old town, in former times some 4500.
Nowadays newcomers can not settle any more in the old town. It is forbidden.
The ancient town Al-Qasr has a few entrances to old houses that go back to Ottoman and Mamluk times. Some houses are marked by lintels, acacia beams above the door carved with the names of the carpenter, the owner of the house and a verse of the Quran.
There are 54 lintels in the town. The oldest is from 924 AD.
Al-Qasr was built on Roman foundations. Despite the remoteness of the oases in the Western Desert, they have a rich history. Recent research has unearthed a wealth of prehistoric artefacts. On the dawn of human history this area wasallready inhabited.
In late pharaonic and Roman times the oases were lifely places on trade routes between the Mediterranean and the rest of Africa.
Al Qasr is one of the highlihgts of the Western Desert. This medieval town in the Dakhla Oasis is situated at the foot of high lime-stone cliffs and built in a way to keep sandstorms and invaders out.
The mud architecture of the town has retained much of its medieval character.