The Qal'at al-Bahrain (in Arabic: قلعة البحرين), also known as the Bahrain Fort or Fort of Bahrain and previously as the Portugal Fort (Qal'at al Portugal) is an archaeological site located in Bahrain, on the Arabian Peninsula. Archaeological excavations carried out since 1954 have unearthed antiquaries from an artificial mound of 12 m (39 ft) height containing seven stratified layers, created by various occupants from 2300 BC up to the 18th century, including Kassites, Portuguese and Persians. It was once the capital of the Dilmun civilization and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
The Bahrain Fort is one of the major landmarks of Bahrain, and is one of the most popular forts in the country. The fort plays an integral part in offering visitors a deeper insight about different aspects of Bahrain.
Located in Manama, the Bahrain Fort is also known as Qalát al-Bahrain, which means Bahrain Castle. This archaeological site of Bahrain Fort is made of artificial stacks that have been created by the local inhabitants. The Bahrain Fort was the capital of Dilmun civilization during the earlier days. But, recently it functioned as a Portuguese Fort.
However, the wonderful architecture and the historical importance attached to the edifice of Bahrain Fort have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Fort serves as primary resource for information about Dilmun civilization.
Spreading across an area of 180,000 square meters, the excavation works around the layers of the fort has revealed various kinds of structure, including religious, military, public, commercial and residential structures, with much more interesting facts still waiting to surface.
Archeologists have so far covered nearly half a dozen cities. The first was constructed around 2800 BC, while the second city has a wall and is located on the northwest side. The third was built around 1700 to 1200 BC, while fourth city remains shows a gate built during 900 to 600 BC. The fifth city shows remains of Greek pottery suggesting trade relations, while the sixth city has a walled palace located on the north side.
Bahrain Fort is no-doubt, an important part of sightseeing in Bahrain and forms a major tourist attraction.