In cool winter weather – it was good to explore Bahrain. Staying centrally, near Bab Al Bahrain and the souq – it was a convenient location to see the city.
I first visited Beit Al Quran 20 years ago, and it’s unchanged but still a must-see in the country. The Qurans range from opulent to simple, all well displayed over a multi-level ramped floor.
Not far from Beit Al Quran is the National Museum, which seems to have expanded recently. It principally covers the history of Bahrain, with a focus on the Dilmun period – from 2030BC through to, at the most recent, around 600BC.
Walking between these two museums is the Al Fadhel Mosque, one of several in Bahrain with geometric tiling on the minaret.
East, beyond the National Museum, is Muharraq. Here the government is creating a ‘Pearling Path’, to encourage a walking exploration of the general area. Along the walk is an old warehouse that was used to wholesale dates and their extracts.
To the north of the island is Qalat Al Bahrain. This is an archaeological tell, which has evidence of occupation from around 3000BC.
On top of the tell is a fort, that appears to date back to the 6th century. It was rebuilt and used by Portugal from about 1529 until the start of the 17thc.
Bahrain is known for its vast pre-historic grave field.
Over 20000 graves are under small tumuli. However, there is a group of much larger ‘Dilmun Royal Burial Mounds’. These are located within a modern housing area.