Bahrain Fort (Qala'at al-Bahrain) has a history dating back to 16th century. It was built by Portuguese who were using the trade routes around this region. The architecture is quite impressive, but under the hot sun you can't stay too long. After 30-45 minutes, you need to stay in the shade or enjoy the cafe close to the entrance.
One of the more important historic buildings on the island, the Bahrain Fort (or Qala'at al-Bahrain in Arabic) is a 16th century fortress built by the Portuguese during the times when they dominated trade routes in the Indian Ocean. This fort is one of several built in Bahrain and around the Persian Gulf to protect these trade routes. It has been nicely restored and is open to visitors. Just outside the fort is a partially excavated ancient settlement from the Dilmun civilisation, which goes back at least 2000 years. The excavation work is expected to continue in the near future and will encompass the large arid area between the fort and the nearby village of Karbabad. In 2005, the Bahrain Fort and the Dilmun excavations were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Bahrain Fort, a 15th/16th century fort built by the Portuguese is a large fort that is reached by driving through a small village and gardens. The fort has been renovated in recent times, so has an almost modern feel to it but has many parts to explore. Surrounding the fort you can see archaeological ruins.
Many archaeological remains have been found here, and there are still archaeological excavations going on.
It seems there was the location of the capital city of the Dilmun civilisation, and later greek settlers stayed there. All these people settled there, in this desertic area, because they found fresh water (the green gardens I show in this page are not far from here); archaeologists tell they found remains of big buildings telling there were important settlements; the Dilmun civilisation, which was only known from Sumerian writings till the 1950’s has important remains here.
Notice on the picture that the soil surface around the excavations is highr than the surroundings.
Bahrain fort (Qal’at al Bahrain) (1) also called the Portuguese fort
Bahrain fort is not only the 15th century military construction but is also the location of several successive cities which were built there the oldest one dating from 2300 B.C. This archaeological site is in fact a giant tumulus elevating a few meters above the general topography where successive cities and finally the fort have been built.
The fort has been renovated in a modern way and there is not the ambience of old stones I feel when visiting old forts usually (but it may be the colours , or the sun. . . ). The fort is also called Portuguese Fort attesting the presence of these Lusitanian soldiers here in the 16th century, for protecting the Portuguese ships and traders, on the road to India and the spices. . .
There are three forts in the surrounding area. It is one of the oldest military fortifications found in the region, built from pre-historic age to Islamic age to Portuguese colonialization age. The latest, which the biggest one, was known as Portuguese Fort.
In other area of Bahrain, you can visit also other forts like Arad Fort (near airport) and Riffa Fort (near Riffa town).