Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Diriyah – Saudi Arabia

 Okay, what or where is a “Diriyah? It’s both.  Diriyah is an ancient city in Saudi Arabia that predates Columbus’s landing in the New World.  It was one of the few places that the Skunk could take photographs while working there from 1989 to 1991.  These photos were taken with a 110 instamatic camera and then the prints were recently scanned into digital format. 

Diriyah is considered to be one of the most alluring attractions in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. Modern construction is rapidly encircling this ancient site.   It is an ancient city of major historical significance. According to the chroniclers of Nejd, the city was founded in 1446-7 by Mani Al-Mraydi, an ancestor of the Saudi royal family.  Diriyah was the original home of the Saudi royal family, and served as the capital of the first Saudi dynasty from 1744 to 1818, until the the destruction of Diriyah at the end of the Ottoman- Saudi war of 1811–18 during the Nejd Expedition. The ruins of the City of Old Diriyah are open to the public, and visitors exploring its narrow passages and ruined buildings step out of the twentieth century and find themselves entranced by the romance and adventure of Diriyah’s turbulent history, which also accounts for its immense popularity among tourists and expatriates working in the Saudi Kingdom. The windows in the rooms were normally triangular as this shape did not need a wooden lintel. These buildings were built of nothing but mud brick, palm thatch and palm trunks.  Remember, palms are not trees, they are ferns so thy do not have wood, the trunk is fibrous. .  The old city was declared a World Heritage Site in 2010.  For additional info about this fascinating location go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diriyah

These are the buildings that have either  been restored or which have a major part still standing.  The city started in 1446AD

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Diriyah/IMG_0021A.jpg

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Part of
the reconstructed city wall.

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Diriyah/IMG_0021A.jpg

How upper lever floors and roofs were built.  Stringers of palm trunks, thatched with palm leaves and stems  and then covered with a heavy layer of clay and mud.

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Steps were built by packing mud into a solid ramp and them forming the steps into it.  I did see some that had palm trunks across them to to help hold the mud in place.

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 Doors were heavily and ornately decorated.  Some of the homes had electricity though probably not up to current electrical code.

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Ornate arches were formed by stacking either round mud brick or cute limestone blocks and them placing palm trunks vertically across them and then encasing the wholly thing in mud plaster.  

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One of the nicely reconstructed buildings to its’ former glory.  Unfortunately I was not able to enter the reconstructed ones.

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Reconstructed well house.  Yes, there was actually a well with water at the bottom.

A date palm grove with the encroaching modern Riyadh in the distance 

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