Cities of Saudi Arabia: Er-Riyadh
Modern city of Er-Riyadh, or Riyad, that approximately can be translated as "Gardens", Based on the site of the first city captured by Ibn Saud. The tip, launched to the main door of the Fort Masmak (waged), is considered a fragment of exactly the very spear, which the Turkish governor was killed. In addition to the fort and several traditional palaces near the deeper square, it remained quite a bit from the old city – only fragments of typically eastern discount with a winding labyrinth of narrow streets, global houses, facing facades in the courtyard, indoor bazaars and a fortified palace. Actually very little from what can be seen today in Er-Riyadh, "older" 50 years old, most of the buildings of the city built in the late 80s and early 90s of the XX century. At the same time in Er-Riyadh about 140 (!!) mosques, each of which is made with special art and in its style.
Although Er-Riyadh is the official capital of the country, before the early 1980s, all ministries, embassies and actually all commercial enterprises were located in Jedda, only in the past few years foreign representative offices moved to the so-called diplomatic quarter. Therefore, the city is still larger than the political capital and the symbol of royal power and is not overloaded with enterprises or international structures, while maintaining a considerable part of its national flavor. However, it is revenues from "petroleum" turned the capital to the high-tease oasis of glass, steel and concrete, the location of huge hotels, even larger hospitals and one of the largest airports in the world, which can be seen on thousands of advertising posters.
The center and the oldest part of the ER Riyadh – Al-Bataa contains almost all the historical buildings of the city, the bus station and the Chief Advice, around which numerous coffee shops and cafes are concentrated. Citadel of Old Er-Riyadh, Masmach Fortress (waters, open from Saturday by Wednesday with 7.30 to 13.30) was built approximately in 1865 and was repaired in the 1980s. In the fortress, carefully renovated traditional "sofa" (Hotel) with an open courtyard with six doors, carved walls and three columns that support a wooden roof, as well as old Majlis, while the fortress itself is turned into one big museum dedicated to Abdel Aziz and his roles in the Union of the Kingdom. Al-Tumairi’s impressive gate, located in the very center of the city, are one of those 9 gates that were previously led to the city through the ring of fortress walls (the walls themselves were destroyed in 1950.).
Er-Riyadh Museum (open from Saturday on Wednesday from 8.00 to 14.00, the entrance is free) is located in the western part of Al-Bataa and contains an extensive collection of the history and archeology of the Kingdom of the Kingdom from the Stone Century to the early Laman period, the exposition of Islamic architecture and a separate Ethnography Hall with a large model of Fort Masmak, Wardrobe Items, Musical Instruments, Traditional Accessories, Weapons and Jewels of the Islamic Period. It is important to take into account that permission to visit all archaeological sites and forts in the country can be obtained in the Museum of Er-Riyadh (they are free and issued on the presentation of a passport or residence permit, or "Ikama"). Exceptions are only objects of the Eastern Region, Fort Nadzharan and the Oasis Diraya city, which is the hereditary house of the Al-Saudi dynasty.
The historic center named after King Abdel Aziza is located in the same old quarter of the capital. It contains photos, objects of decorative and applied industries, video materials and a multimedia theater, telling about the history and life of Saudi Arabia, paying special attention to the life of the country’s founder. The complex also includes the National Museum of Saudi Arabia (a large collection of manuscripts, documents and other historical objects), Museum Darat Al-Malik, library, audience, mosque and gardens. A peculiar museum is the same as the Palace-Fortress of Mrabarba located here (built by King Abdel Aziz in 1946 as a residence, opened from Saturday to Wednesday from 8.00 to 14.00) with exhibitions of traditional clothes and crafts.
Among other exhibition complexes of the capital, the Center for Research and the study of Islam named after King Faisala (collection of Islamic art and the permanent exhibition of old books and manuscripts), the University Museum of the King Sauda (open from Saturday to Wednesday morning, extensive archaeological collection with Al-Fao excavations and Rabda), a numismatic museum in the complex of buildings of the Main Bureau of the Monetary Agency Saudi Arabia (SAMA), as well as Art Gallery Hevar with an excellent collection of works of Middle East Masters.
One of the landmarks of the city is the Royal Center (Kingdom Center) – the highest building in Saudi Arabia. Belonging to Saudi Prince and built on a fairly unusual project, it contains a complex of modern offices, apartments, a hotel Four Seasons, a three-tier shopping center and a variety of first-class international restaurants. In the Casre Al-Hukm district, you can see the Hospital Hospital Hospital with its amazing combination of modern and traditional architectural styles. In the diplomatic quarter, located in the northwestern part of the city, contain almost hundreds of foreign embassies, missions and international organizations surrounded by picturesque gardens, sports facilities and alleys.
The complex of the Ministry of Information with the 176-meter Tower, the colorful complex of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, performed in the best traditions of modern Islamic architecture, the name of the King Fakhda in the form of a huge Arab tent, the National Library named after the King Fahd, Water Tower of Original Architecture, Zoo, International King Khalida Airport (one of the largest in the world – more than 16 million passengers passes through it every year), horse club and 93 kilometer ring road surrounding the city.
Around the city
Diraya (30 km from the capital) – the first capital of the kingdom and the most popular archaeological site of the country, was founded in 1446, reached the vertex of power at the end of the 18th century and was destroyed in 1818. Now among the intensively recoverable ruins, you can see several palaces, mosques and an old urban wall.