The ancient port of al-Baleed

In the last 150 years the new town of Salalah has grown out of the stones of the remains of the ancient Middle Age settlement al-Baleed (from al Balad, meaning ‘town’), a spit of land in the lagoon at the eastern end of the beach at Salalah.

The ruins of Al Baleed, UNESCO World Heritage Oman Behind a large steel fence, heaps of rubble as high as a house can be seen scattered around a large area. From the road you pass through a gate and find yourself in the grounds of what is being developed into a large archaeological park in Salalah.

For a small fee the grounds are already open to interested visitors as well as 2 museums about the history of Oman.

The former centre of "Dhofar", as the port was called, used to be surrounded by a trench and a defensive wall with gates in the west, south and east sides. At the western end of the site you can clearly make out the remains of the large court mosque. Originally there were 148 pillars, which were laid in rows of four, surrounding an inner courtyard.

The excavation works have beencarried out by a German archaeological team who also developed the educational concept of the archaeological park.

Al-Baleed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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