Daily Archives: August 24, 2012

Al Hazm Castle (near Rustaq)

Al Hazm Castle is a magnificent castle in a tranquil setting, located between Rustaq and Mussannah.  More precisely, it’s located about 20 kms from Al Rustaq.  If you are driving from Muscat, it should take you somewhere between 1.5 and 2 hours.  Make sure to take the second exit to Rustaq, not the first.  It’s the same roundabout on the main highway where cars turn right to get to the Millennium Resort in Mussanah. Travelers to Al Hazm Castle should turn left and just follow the brown tourist signs that will faithfully lead you to the castle.  The roundabout at this point is impossible to miss – 2 cool looking ships face one another!

Yet another castle/fort/museum in Oman that I attempt to visit only to find out that it’s “temporarily closed”.  Story of my life!

If it ever does open up to the public again, here are the working hours…

A closer look at the artwork on the main door

The walls of this impressive fort are at least three metres thick at its narrowest points! This castle was virtually impenetrable in its day (built in 1711) and that’s why you won’t read any stories about “the taking of Al Hazm Castle”.

This falaj actually runs underneath Al Hazm Castle and provides vital water to many date trees and other agricultural treasures in the area.

A typical wash-area within the falaj near al Hazm Castle (built with concrete walls on all sides) for the sake of privacy when bathing.

Although I was initially disappointed that the castle was closed, I did enjoy my quiet walk around such a beautiful area.

If you spend enough time in Oman, you may eventually learn that the larger, nearby city of Rustaq was once the capital of Oman in the past.  One thing that is not as well known is that the capital of Oman was moved to this small town of Al Hazm when the ruler at that time had this castle built.  Another note of historical importance is that the body of the original designer of this castle, Iman Sultan bin Seif, rests in a tomb within the castle grounds.

I couldn’t seem to find any reference to why it’s named “Al Hazm Castle“.  Because it was built by an Imam and it’s known as “one of Islamic architectural masterpieces” (from Oman Tourism website), I’m going to assume that it was named after the 8th century Islamic scholar based in Madinah, Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Hazm, especially as he is credited with writing many hadiths.

There are plenty of cannons in the upper section of the castle which is always an impressive sight!

This swamp-like farm area is near the back as you walk around the right side of the castle.  It was here that I ran into this fellow:

There are quite a few ruins of ancient homes like these in the immediate vacinity of the castle.

I hope you enjoyed this limited tour of Al Hazm Castle with me.  Have any of you been inside?  If you have been to Al Hazm Castle, what were your impressions?