Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Qal'at al-Bahrain - Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun, Bahrain






The Qal'at al-Bahrain, or Bahrain Fort, is an ancient artificial mound in Bahrain. Now an archaeological site, it measures roughly 300 meters by 600 meters. Qal'at al-Bahrain was created due to successful layers of human settlement on the same spot going back to 2300 BC until the 16th century AD. This includes being the site of the capital of the ancient civilization called Dilmun, which existed during Mesopotamian times. The site got its name because a 16th century Portuguese fort, the Qal'at al-Burtughal, was built over it. The word "qal'at" means "fort. Bahrain was one of the Portuguese's early bases as they expanded towards the Far East.

Archaeologists have been digging here for the past fifty years. They have managed to unearth ruins of commercial structures and religious buildings, among others, testifying to the importance of Qal'at al-Bahrain as a strategic location through the past few millenia.

Photos of Qal'at al-Bahrain - Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun

Qal'at al-Bahrain
Qal'at al-Bahrain
Author: Joel (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Inside Qal'at al-Bahrain
Inside Qal'at al-Bahrain
Author: Joel (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Ruins of the Portuguese Fort at Qal'at al-Bahrain
Ruins of the Portuguese Fort at Qal'at al-Bahrain
Author: Peter (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Excavation at Qal'at al-Bahrain
Excavation at Qal'at al-Bahrain
Author: Peter (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Qal'at al-Bahrain archaeological site
Qal'at al-Bahrain archaeological site
Author: Joel (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

What to See in Qal'at al-Bahrain - Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 26 13 59.016 E 50 31 19.992
Inscription Year: 2005
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, III, IV

Location Map


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Visiting Qal'at al-Bahrain - Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun

Your base for visiting this World Heritage Site is Bahrain. You can get your hotel there to help you make the arrangement, or select the appropriate tour package or day excursion.

Getting there

Bahrain International Airport (BAH) is the main gateway to Bahrain. It is located in Muharraq, on the northeastern tip of the island.


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