Arts & Culture

Unique architecture: Discover a 300-year old historical market in northern Saudi Arabia

A historical market in the middle of the old city in Tayma governorate has preserved its ancient urban form for over 300 years.

The historic Al-Najem market houses the Ali Al-Najem castle and the Al-Najem Gate, close to several mud dwellings and a 350-meter-long corridor.

The market has an entrance in front of the archaeological yard of Bir Hadaj and another next to the King Faisal Mosque. It surrounds the farms of the old town.

For his part, the photographer and curator of archaeological sites, Abdul Ilah Al-Faris, documented this market’s details.

He told Al that the market is one of the historical tourist attractions in the Tabuk region, where many tourists visit. It contains the cultural aspect of our ancient heritage.

It consists of buildings and walls that reflect the deep history of the place and the city of Tayma, which is known for the wideness and diversity of its archaeological sites, and its strategic geographical location, considering the city of great importance, which made it a cultural station since ancient times.

Market items

Al-Faris said: “The site is the gate of Al-Najem market, which is one of the oldest gates made of tamarisk wood and palm trunks. Al-Najim Castle is one of the oldest castles in Tayma, and it contains many architectural elements such as the Al-Katala, a watch and defence tower during war and siege, and the Pyrenees, aesthetic triangles built at the top of the wall, to decorate the facade of buildings.”

Urban market icon

The market has urban importance and is considered a realistic and rare model of the traditional building method in Tayma during the past two centuries.

People built the market from the natural materials available in the town, so it became distinguished by a unique urban style, an icon of Tayma’s urban heritage.

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