Riyadh city wall

Riyadh city wall
سور مدينة الرياض
Part of Old Riyadh
Dukhnah Gate Old Riyadh.jpg
Dukhnah Gate of the old city walls, 1937
TypeSeries of earth-structured defensive fortifications
Site history
Built byDaham bin Dawas al-Shalaan
In use1950 (1950)

The Riyadh city wall (Arabic: سور مدينة الرياض, romanizedSūr madīnat ar-Riyāḍ) was an 18th century earth-structured fortified wall that encircled one of the old city regions of Riyadh in present-day Saudi Arabia intermittently between 1704 and 1950.[1]


The early origins of the wall dated back to 18th century during the reign of Riyadh's ruler Daham bin Dawas al-Shaalan and was razed and rebuilt on numerous occasions over the course of time. The wall was renovated for the last time by Ibn Saud soon after the Battle of Riyadh in 1902 before it was finally demolished in 1950 in order to pave the way for the city's expansion.[2] The wall had 9 gates, which were known as darawiz[3] (Arabic: الدراويز, romanizedal-darāwiz), the plural Arabized form of the Persian word darwazah (Persian: دروازه, romanizeddarvâze), meaning gateway.


Historical accounts largely credit Riyadh's 18th century ruler Daham bin Dawas al-Shalaan for being the first one to erect a wall around Riyadh in around 1704.[4] After expelling the Ottoman-backed Egyptian forces from Najd and reinstating the Second Saudi State in 1824, Imam Turki al-Saud ordered the reconstruction of Daham's walls.[5] However, after the victory of the Rashidi dynasty in the Battle of Mulayda against the House of Saud in 1891, the new ruler of Najd Ibn Rashid went on to desecrate and destroy much of al-Saud's structures, including the Riyadh wall.[6] After Ibn Saud deposed the Rashidis in 1902 after the Battle of Riyadh, he ordered the rehabilitation of the wall in order to safeguard the city from trespassers and invaders and was demolished nearly four decades later in 1950 when Riyadh underwent modernization and expansion.[2]


The Riyadh city wall had 9 gates and 20 watchtowers.[citation needed]

  • Al-Thumairi Gate, purportedly named after Hassan al-Thamiri, the guard who was killed during the Battle of Dalaqa
  • Al-Qiri Gate
  • Masdah Gate
  • Badiah Gate
  • Al-Suwailem Gate
  • Al-Dhahirah Gate
  • Dukhnah Gate
  • Arar Gate

Districts and landmarks that fell within the walls

The following were within the walls:[citation needed]

  • Al-Zahirah neighborhood
  • Al-Daho neighborhood
  • Al-Ajnab neighborhood
  • Al-Qadimah neighborhood
  • Qasr al-Hokm Palace
  • Mueqilia neighborhood
  • Al-Muqbiriah neighborhood
  • Al-Quna neighborhood
  • Dukhnah neighborhood


  1. ^ "المعالم الأثرية في بلدة الرياض". www.al-jazirah.com. Retrieved 2022-07-26.
  2. ^ a b [2019-07-11 "تراث الرياض العمراني المفقود.. وما يمكن إنقاذه ! (1-2)"]. www.al-jazirah.com (in Arabic). Retrieved 2022-05-19. {{cite web}}: |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help); Check |archive-url= value (help)
  3. ^ "بوابات وسور الرياض التاريخية في ذكرى اليوم الوطني 89 | مجلة سيدتي". www.sayidaty.net (in Arabic). Retrieved 2022-05-19.
  4. ^ الشاطري, منصور بن مروي (2013-01-01). أمير الرياض دهام بن دواس 1151 - 1187 هـ - 1738 - 1773 م (in Arabic). Al Manhal. ISBN 9796500163949.
  5. ^ Ruwayshid, ʻAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Sulaymān (1992). قصر الحكم في الرياض: أصالة الماضي و روعة الحاضر (in Arabic). s.n.]،.
  6. ^ mariam (2020-02-06). "إحياء سور وبوابات مدينة الرياض". الهيئة الملكية لمدينة الرياض (in Arabic). Retrieved 2022-05-21.

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Riyadh_city_wall&oldid=1123618148"