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...more
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.more
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.more
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...more
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.more
When we left the old city, two local girls waited for us in the mainstreet with their trade.
They had a lot of local baskets. slicers and bags for sale. They told us the baskets and other objects were made of palmleaves from the oasis.
What to buy: Local craft, as baskets, slicers and bags made of natural materials of the oasis.
As everywhere in the muslim world, you see also in Al-Qasr houses with decorations, referring to the haj journey to Mecca.
The decoration tells something about the journey. The owner of this house went by plane.
The first time I learned more about the western oases and desert, was, when I read the book of Arita Baaijens written in 1993. Arita Baaijens, a dutch female writer, is fascinated by the elusive beauty of the desert. She bought her own camels and learned to survive in the desert. In the book '' een regen van vuur ( a rainfall of fire)'' she wrote...more
The Dakhla Oasis is one of the five oases in the Western (or Libyan) Desert.You can reach Dakhla nowadays by tarred roads. From the north (from Cairo) you pass Bahariya Oasis and Farafra Oasis first. From the the east ( Asyut or Luxor) you pass Kharga Oasis first.Cairo- Dakhla 805 KMLuxor- Dakhla 438 KMAsyut - Dakhla 408 KMmore