Mud houses draw tourists to Najran


JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – The mud house, which is part of the Kingdom’s heritage, is a tourist attraction in the Najran province in the south of Saudi Arabia.

This landmark architectural style of the past centuries is still preserved with great zeal by heritage lovers in this part of the Kingdom.

About 230 mud houses of ancient style are still found in Najran. Al-An Palace and the historic Emarah Palace are the most noted among them.

The Emarah Palace has 60 rooms and a mosque with a well in the center of its courtyard. A wall with four towers surrounds the edifice.

The seven-story Al-Sadran Palace is 180 years old and it was renovated in 2006. Al-Sadran Palace is situated in the Aal Sadran village.

President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) Prince Sultan bin Salman and Najran Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah are keen to encourage local residents to adhere to their unique architectural heritage that bridges the region’s past with the present. The materials used in the construction of the mud houses are stones, clay and timber designed in different shapes.

Some houses are rectangular and lofty while some others take the shape of a vertical tower. Most of them have eight or nine stories.

The construction of the mud houses involves placing stones and drenched clay in a rectangular stone frame. Required numbers of frames are left to dry for a day in the summer or two to three days in the winter.

After processing the stones and clay the construction starts. A coating of lime is made at the lower part of the edifice. The roof is made of timber, palm trunks and leaves, and tamarisk or willows.

White lime is used for the firmness of pillars of the house and also to add to the elegance of the muddy color of the coating at the lower part of a house.

Inside the rooms there are some additional fixtures. On the room walls, apertures are made to keep lamps or books.