Built in the early 1900s in the traditional Hijazi architectural style, Beit al-Balad served as the headquarters of the British legation in Jeddah from World War I until the 1930s. This turbulent period saw Jeddah and the Hijaz change hands from the Ottoman Empire (nominally ruled by the Hashemite Sharif), to the independent Kingdom of Hijaz ruled by the Sharif, to Saudi-Wahhabi occupation in 1924, to full annexation to Saudi Arabia in 1932. The British had a significant role in reshaping the map of the region, starting with the highly romanticised story of Lawrence of Arabia, to breaking the promise of a unified independent Arab country made up of former Arab-Ottoman lands (think Sykes-Picot, Balfour Declaration, etc.), and to leaving a weak Kingdom of Hijaz to be usurped by the Saudi dynasty (in return for other less publicised favours, including assuring a safe passage to British ships in the Red Sea). None of this history is viewed favourably by locals, but a lot of it was likely made by the British legation in this very building. Beit al-Balad was one of several buildings used by the British legation, but it is the only one that has survived. It was restored in recent history and turned into the Municipality Museum of Jeddah, dedicated to the history of the city.
or Bait Naseef is one of the oldest houses in Jeddah. Naseef is a well-known family in the western region of Saudi. They used to open this house as a museum for visitors, though now the Jeddah Municipality is closing it for maintenance.
it used to be the residence of Sultan Abdulhamid, the Ottoman and King Abdulaziz. It depicts the traditional architecture and lifestyle of Jeddah decades and perhaps 100s ago. It consists of 3 floors where the ground floor is open for public, has a water spring that can be seen through a glass board, a 3D map of Balad and surrounding areas and other rooms for display. It has 107 rooms and a camel can get in to fetch the fresh food up to the top! very feasible!
In summer festivals, there would be a traditional Jeddah's music band for traditional performance. It's fun.
No entrance fees.
It's only 3 minutes away from my college, located next to Khozam Palace. This museum used to be King Abdul Aziz Palace in Jeddah. Now it covers sections of different ages that the Arabian Peninsula went through back to 7000 years ago, Pre-Islamic age, Islamic age (Prophet, Amawi, Abbasi, Turks), and finally the Saudi Kingodm.
Centers in the City
The scheme receives 2000 male and female students and visitors during twelve hours a day in different types of sciences, knowledge and museums. The information deals with the history of Arabian Peninsula since 2.500.000 years till the end of this century. This project is considered one of the largest schemes of the like worldwide. There are wings for jewellery, for national light industries and different centers on international arts units.
Centers in the City are Specialized in:
1. Heritage craftsmanship (pottery, engraving on plates, basket manufacturing, heritage textile and spinning, designing of clay, tin inscription, dried flowers, manufacturing of paper toys etc).
2. Fine arts (oil painting, coal, pastel, drawing on glass, fiber, water painting, painting on canvas.
3. Elements of Arabic scripts (Rigaa, Naskh, Kofi, Thoth, Diwani, Persian and Al-Ijaza)
4. Talents labs (In the following subjects): (earth, seas, plant, animals, man, medicine, pharmacology, electronics, metals melting, carpentry, fine arts, photographing, home arrangement and order, computer, public culture, astronomy, literature, sports, modern languages, social activities, economics, agronomy and rhetoric).
5. Health: (General clinic for men, a clinic for women and children, ENT, dental clinic, optics, emergency, Analytic tests and pharmacy.
6. Khan of AL Khalil (Cassettes and books in Qur'an sciences, heritage swords and guns, pottery, rings, handmade carpets, works of art, bedwin jewellery, bidwin clothes, coins and currencies, stamps, medals, old scripts and pictures and other antiquities.
7. Centers for computer sciences and languages.
8. Ladies beauty parlour.
9. Different scientific centers which concern male and female with academic libraries in different universal sciences.
A. The Project started in 1978 A.D.
B. 50% completion of the project and partial operation in 1994 A.D.
C. The total completion and operation in 1996.
There is the biggest wing for scientific miracles of the Qur'anic and Sunnah ni the conception of the understanding of the Qur'anic verse "We have neglected nothing in the book".(1) Four Museums in all sciences, knowledge, heritage culture and human civilization with 300 rooms. The displayed pieces and items are nearly 60.000. (1) Surat AL-An'am (38)
The city consists of more than 300.000 books and references in different sciences and fields of knowledge, 2000 square meter of walled information with illustrations and models, more than 500 (five hundred) of computer programs in different sciences and knowledge, about 18 museum wings in different human civilization. A wing about the history, battles and struggle of the late King Abdulaziz. There is a wing for Saudi national culture with illustrated models and a wing for national industries and an information center for national culture, a wing for mineral, stones and jewelry. A wing for international fine arts schools, a wing for international unity arts, wings for Islamic heritage and arts, wing for heritage and arts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, wings for universal sciences (the solar system) Earth as a planet in particular, pant, animal kingdom and man and wings for old civilizations world wide.
Taybebin and Tayebat educational center, Talented People Training Center, Tayebat center for sciences - culture and fine arts - Abdul-Raof Khalil's museum, home arts museum, National culture museum, Abdul-Raof Khalil's heritage house which was established in resemblance to the houses of Old Jeddah - the clinic - Khan of AL Khalil, the internal broadcasting network of the city - the internal television of the city - the security of the city – general maintenance of the city.
The city is composed of the following main elements
The mosque - benevolent of mobarrat Eltayebat - Ibad AL Rahman center for Qur'anic sciences - heritage sciences center - Knowledge approximation and its interpretations, bookshops, libraries and the center of information, the open university of Tayebat (read and teach yourself by yourself)
The elements of past architecture are embodied in this city with many ecological functions such as stone and clay works of all kinds. The planning for this project was to reflect the movement inside old Jeddah city enjoying its moderate climate, although it was hot in the outside, as a result of air blowing through its narrow streets, districts and buildings.
It is a city which Is considered a university of sciences and knowledge. It is bigger than a museum, in fact it is taken as a city of museums. It includes different and varied civilizations. The total land area of the city is 10.000 square meter and its buildings are twelve which equipped all over with the best facilities, scientific libraries and specialized museums.
Composition of the Museum
The museum consists of nineteen units and contains, sideways, fifteen of fountains which are linked by a stream of moving water. The museum is risen high by nine minarets with different heights. The highest is the minaret number 7 located on the bridge connects the third building with the fourth with total height of 8 meters, it consists of three storeys and its design is influenced by the Arabic architectural style.
Composition of the Museum
The museum is composed of major buildings which are the mosque, the front of the castle, the house of Saudi Heritage folklore, the house of Islamic heritage and the house of International heritage. These buildings represented the face of the museum building from the outside which is contained in an outer wall designed to enable the spectator to easily see the external works.
Abdul Raof Khalil's Museum
The heritage and glorious past of a nation is but a reflection of the civilization that had once prevailed throughout that nation. It comes from the power of its roots, nobility, the tools which were the style of life in the past, a behavior, pattern which were lived and practiced. They become now to be known as tradition, past and precious objects and antiquities. The school has substituted what was once called Alkuttab i.e. a lesson circle with one teacher and a variety of subjects or sciences. The small district was changed into a bigger one, attached rooms and houses with villas and high rise buildings. The old districts became to be known as the historical area and an old trace. From here the concept of establishing this museum come into being.
Standing majestically amongst old dilapidated houses is Beit Nassif , a house
built in the 1870s by Nassif family, one of Jeddah’s oldest & most respected merchant clans, it was home to 100 members of the family & their staff.
The building has four storeys at the front & seven at the back, & until the 1970s it was the tallest building in Jeddah. no wonder it dwarfed all the building around it.
King Abdulaziz requisitioned the house in 1925 while his palace was being constructed – hence the name of its location, King Abdul Historical Square. The King & his army were welcomed here by the people of Jeddah on 23 September 1924, celebrated every year since as National Day.
The flag post that stands in the centre of the Square was discovered in a centuries' old Government warehouse on the edge of the city, used for storing food and ammunition and is thought to date from the end of the 7th Century H/13th Century AD. The cannons that stand sentry, were rescued by the Jeddah Historical Area Preservation Department JHAPD from their rather ignominious role of traffic bollards near Bab Sharif. The model and bore of the cannons suggests they were left behind by the retreating Portuguese back in the 16th Century AD.
Now government bought the house & converted it into a museum, now housing an interesting cultural & heritage exhibition.
Open Saturday-Thursday, 0900-1300. Admission free.
Though its stated that you need to get permission to take photograph , a snap or two doesnt really hurt ! But if you wanna feel more comfortable ...go ahead see my next tip.