Arts & Culture

100-year-old Shamsan Castle to become a tourist attraction

Shamsan Castle, located northeast of Abha, is the right call for heritage and tourism in the Asir region.

The building has been restored to be a window for the region’s history and an architectural landmark for traditional architecture.

The castle was built in its last design more than a hundred years ago on top of 

the Shamsan Mountain, about 2,200 meters above sea level.

It used to be the main gate of Abha from the Al Aqaba side to the North and served as the city’s first line of defence in successive periods.

According to SPA, Dr Mahfouz Al-Zahrani refers in his book Fortifications of Abha City in the Period 1288-1337 AH to the total area of ​​the castle about 5,389 m2.

Castle building

Dr Al-Zahrani confirms the distinctive flat roofs in this castle by indicating that “they are wooden beams of juniper tree trunks that are widely spread in the western forests of the Asir Mountains, and the lengths of these beams vary according to the width of one of the rooms of the castle.”

Construction method

The researcher monitored the construction method in the castle, starting by cutting granite stones of different sizes and simply stacking them, forming both sides of the wall, inside and out.

The facade of the western wall overlooking Abha was covered with a layer of plaster to give it an aesthetic shape; the application was helping to hold the stones together. The walls height varies from one side to another depending on the terrain on which they are built.

Dr Al-Zahrani believes that the castle’s courtyard contained an underground water tank to store rainwater.

In recent years, the building passed through SR$3m restoration to develop its surroundings and become an important tourist landmark in Abha.

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