UNESCO World Heritage Site is selected by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which may be a building, monument, park, land, museum, or any place of that sort which has some significance or unique architecture. From Saudi Arabia 3 sites have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madâin Sâlih), At-Turaif District in ad-Dir'iyah and latest one is the Historical Jeddah city known as Balad. Here we are going to talk and discuss about the Historic Jeddah also known as Al-Balad, which was in lime light from quite some time but it finally is now among the UNESCO world heritage sites.
It was declared by Prince Sultan Bin Salman, who is the president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities on Saturday, 21st June 2014 in Doha’s 38th meeting of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee. This decision further increased the load of tourists and visitors to this amazing place. This area reflects Islamic culture because of its association to hajj routes, souqs, monuments, cultural buildings and mosques. It also highlights the rich culture and heritage of Saudi kingdom and is a source of proud for them. We shall be providing some further information about the UNESCO Heritage site of Saudi Arabia in the below points.
- Location: The place is situated in the middle of Jeddah on Red Sea’s Eastern Shore. Of course this tells us that on one side are the sea and on the other side is commercial area proving to be a very unique location and attraction for tourists. It came in light when Caliph Uthman ibn Affan was in power; he made it the port for arrival of Muslim pilgrims by Sea.
- Rawasheen, which are the wooden windows, is a very attractive feature together with the fact that most buildings are made of Coral.
- Mamluk prince, Hussain Al Kurdi made the Old Jeddah wall and its historic gates (two gates, one facing Makkah and other the sea) as prevention from Portuguese who were to attack from red sea. There were Forts, cannons, towers with surrounding deep mote. There are seven other doors named Bab Al Mughrabi, Bab Makkah, Bab Al Sharif, Bab Jadeed, Bab Al Bint, Bab Al Saba and Bab Al Madina.
- The historical areas are eye catching and they are named according to geographical locations. Among the famous are Al Mazloom Harawhich which contain monuments for e.g. Dar Al Qabil, Al Jami Souk and Al Shafi’i mosque. Krintena Hara was the main sea entrance for pilgrims and Haret Al million Tifl so named coz of presence of many children.
- Expensive beautiful, hand manipulated purified stones were used to build houses bonded with clay and separated by woods known as "Tkalil". Dar Al Nassif, Dar Al Jamjoom, Dar Al Baeshen, Dar Al Gable, Dar Al Banaja, Dar Al Zahid in Haret al-Sham are some famous buildings reaching immense heights.
- There were skylights in all the rooms of the houses.For migrating the heat effect there were narrow streets and houses very close to each other so that shadow falls on each other.
- A very eye soothing view is of the mosque named Othman bin Affan mosque which is also known as Ebony Mosque. It is so called because of its supporting structure based on two ebony poles. It has a huge minaret. Al pasha Mosque is famous for its unique old particular style of minarets making it archeological landmark of the city.
- A tetragonal shaped unique mosque is also found which is named Al Shafi’i mosque.
- 1.5km within the Jeddah wall are souqs, with traditional style and touch with folk cultural shops. Some common markets are Souk Al Aluwi, Souk Al Nada, and Souk Gabil. More sites from Saudi Arabia are expected to be soon in the list of UNESCO heritage.
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