Nizwa, the religious centre of the Omans, has a moving past. Until the 12th century, it was the capital of the Desert State of Oman.
It contains a massive fortress, of which the architecture is captivating and is an impressive, castle-like structure that was built on the orders of Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya'rubi, in 1660.
Nizwa's picturesque markets offer a large variety of goods and the city is the centre of the countryís silver trade. In addition to shops that sell traditional crafts and general goods, many fruit and vegetable traders offer their products for sale in the restored Souq, 'souk'. The majority of the goods come from the surrounding oasis plantations. Close to the restored quarter, the old town has managed to retain its charm, and itís here that time seems to stand still as the hustle and bustle of the marketplace is reminiscent of a bygone time.
From the battlements of the fortress, thereís a marvelous view across the magnificent mountain terrain of Omanís interior and the city's minaret. In the Sufala district, close to the monumental castle, is the Sultan Qaboos Mosque. As it towers into the sky, the shining tip of the Fridayís Mosque is a reminder of the cityís former prosperity.
The religious, economic and cultural centre of Oman, Nizwa provides a fascinating and exotic impression of the past.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.