A’arif Fort

A historic landmark in Hail

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(Author: Mohammad Al-Sulami, Arab News, 14th February 2012)

A'Arif historic fortress on the top of a mountain with the same name located in the heart of the city of Hail has become a landmark in the northern city. It was built at the beginning of the 18th century to guard the city against possible enemies.

At later times, additions and restorations were made to the fortress until it took its present shape. Built with mud and clay, the rectangular-shaped citadel is 40 meters long and 11 meters wide and occupies an area of about 440 square meters. It had openings and watchtowers to be used by soldiers to sight any approaching hostile elements. It also had prayer places, toilets, warehouses and other facilities that enabled citizens to stay for long periods.

The first construction of the fortress was made during the reign of the Al-Ali family at the end of the 11th Hijra century (17th century AD) and the additions and annexes were made to it during the rule of the Al-Rasheed family. During the Saudi rule, the fortress was used for the sighting of the Ramadan moon and for firing the Iftar gun.

Built on a mountain peak, the fortress could be seen from anywhere in Hail. Visits to the fortress are organized for official foreign delegations and tourists from the Kingdom and abroad.​

A'Arif Fort: A historic landmark in Hail (photo: Florent Egal)

A'Arif Fort: A historic landmark in Hail (photo: Florent Egal)


A’Arif Fort: A historic landmark in Hail (author: Mohammad Al-Sulami, Arab News, 14th February 2012)

About the Author

My name is Florent Egal, I am a French national living in Riyadh since January 2010. After six years of exploration of Saudi Arabia I have decided to show with this website that KSA has much more to offer than the stereotype landscape of empty extends of sand dunes. I hope that after reading through these pages people will feel the same willingness and amazement than I have to discover this fascinating country