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Beauty has an address ~ Oman

Qalhat & Bibi Mariam

In the past, Qalhat City has witnessed an ancient Omani civilization, being Oman’s first capital before the advent of Islam. In the thirteenth century it was the main commercial port linking Oman and abroad.

This city was once witness to a great ancient civilisation but has since slipped away from history, geography, time and place. Nature overpowered Man here and transformed the city into a pile of rocks, scattered over a wasteland, starting at the beach, to homes that fell to ruin, to crumbling citadels and walls that once fortified the city. It is said that the city fell prey to an earthquake in the fourteenth century. The Portuguese also invaded and occupied Qalhat until they were expelled in the late sixteenth century AD.

Qalhat’s history dates back to the Bronze Age, when it was a major city and the first capital of Oman. Also, due to many characteristics that augment its unique and distinctive location, and being an important city and port, it had the advantage of attracting travellers, explorers and seekers after knowledge.

The ruins of Qalhat include Bibi Mariam’s shrine (Bibi means "free") who is said to be an elderly woman who built a mosque, while some historical sources mentioned that she was the governor of Qalhat during the reign of King Hormuz (Kotob Eddine Yamtuhin). At the shrine entrance, there is a crypt leading to underground corridors beneath the floor of the shrine.

The site is located in A'Sharqiyah South Governorate (Eastern Region)