Riyadh city wall
|Riyadh city wall|
سور مدينة الرياض
|Part of Old Riyadh|
|Type||Series of earth-structured defensive fortifications|
|Built by||Daham bin Dawas al-Shalaan|
The Riyadh city wall (Arabic: سور مدينة الرياض, romanized: Sūr 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.
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. The wall had 9 gates, which were known as darawiz (Arabic: الدراويز, romanized: al-darāwiz), the plural Arabized form of the Persian word darwazah (Persian: دروازه, romanized: darvâze), 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. 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. 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. 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.
The Riyadh city wall had 9 gates and 20 watchtowers.
- 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:
- 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
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