Lying in the heart of Riyadh's old quarters, Masmak Citadel is a magnificent fort that takes back into the history of Saudi Arabia. This 19th century fortress was built by Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Rasheed in the middle of 1860s.
The Masmak Citadel was the residence of the ruling Al Saud clan. Due to certain unfortunate circumstances, the ruling family was suppressed and the reign of Saudi Arabia was taken over by the rival Al Rashid family.
In January 1902, young Amir Adb al-Aziz ibn Adb al-Rahman managed to recapture the Masmak Citadel and thus again establish the supremacy of Al Saud clan over the town of Riyadh. His heroic deeds have become part of the folklore of Saudi Arabia. And thus, Masmak Citadel has an important place in the country's history.
The Masmak Citadel, Riyadh has a palm gate which is about 3.65 meters high and 2.65 meters wide. Al Kokha, the small opening in this gate has been designed in a way that the gate does not need to be opened for letting people in and out of the fortress.
Made primarily of clay and mud brick, the Masmak Citadel of Riyadh is home to a mosque and well. The castle also has four 18-meter high watchtowers that have openings from where soldiers fired at enemies. Al Murabba, the square shaped tower in the midst of the castle, is its biggest highlight.
The roofs and walls of Masmak Citadel, Riyadh are covered with painted palm tree and wood. After a renovation in 1995, the citadel now houses a museum tat displays artifacts and weaponry of an erstwhile era.
The Masmak Citadel at Riyadh is open from 8am - 12 noon, and from 4pm - 9pm on Saturdays to Wednesdays. On Thursdays, this attraction of Saudi Arabia is open only between 9 am and 12 noon. On Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, only families are allowed to enter Masmak Citadel, Riyadh.