Architecture of Oman
Oman's architecture is fairly limited, but striking in
appearance and quite unique, including the buildings being constructed today. Most
of the country's earliest still standing architecture is in the form of forts,
although clearly houses and mosques were built for hundreds of years.
Mosque architecture in Oman is similar to the rest of the Arabian
Peninsula and the Middle East as a whole, with one clear exception; many early mosques
in Oman were built from clay bricks. Also, minarets weren't a common feature
on mosques in Oman until the 1800s; before this time they were only intended to
be built in regions that had a Muslim minority in order to make a statement of existence
so as Oman had a majority of Muslims there was no need for minarets.
Sultan's Palace in Muscat
Most of the coasts, especially the northeastern coast is covered with forts protecting
the waterway. These forts, which generally sit atop the mountains, are both local
and Portuguese in origin and date from very early times to the 1600s, as most were
built during these latter years. The Jabreen Castle and the Bahla Fort are among
the best of these hill-top forts.
Since this time most construction has continued to be housing, mosques, and a smaller
number of forts. Due to the economic decline since the 1600s few monumental structures
have been built.