Local architecture is music for the eyes Print E-mail
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Local architecture is music for the eyes
Building through the ages
Back to the basics
The courtyard in the middle
Cooling the house
Entrance and windows
Majlis and harim
Importance of family
Survival of the fittest
Old houses of Muharraq

Old houses of Muharraq

If you want to see more surviving old buildings, you must go to Muharraq, which is the old capital of Bahrain. Wandering through the narrow alleys gives you a good idea of how it must have been to live in the cities here before.

A good place to start your exploration is the fabulous Shaikh Isa bin Ali's House (tel ), the home of the great grandfather of the present Amir, HH Shaikh Isa bin Sulman Al Khalifa. It is one of the best surviving examples of traditional Bahraini architecture.

After recent restoration work, it offers a truly unique opportunity to study the past. Here you can also witness yourself how effective a wind tower really is in cooling the intolerably hot air, especially during the summer!

Near Shaikh Isa's house is the Beit Al Siyadi, or Siyadi House (tel ) which used to belong to a famous pearl merchant in the 19th century. With all the detailed ornamentation on the facade and in the finely carved doors, it is an excellent example of the best architecture from that period.