Built as a fort during the reign of Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Khalifa in 1812, while another source claim that it was built during the rule of the Persian Safavid Empire of Iran over Bahrain during the 17th century, the fort was converted into a residence in the 19th century for Shaikh Salman Bin Ahmed (Al Fateh) Al Khalifa. Riffa Fort or (Arabic: قلعة الرفاع; transliterated: Qal'at ar-Rifa') it is now named (Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Fort) offers a splendid view across the Hunanaiya valley. With Riffa being home to the seat of government until 1869, this fort was strategically important in at the time.
Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa who ruled Bahrain from 1869 to 1932 was born in the fort. His house in Muharraq provides a glimpse of royal life in the 19th century, complete with architecture and wall carvings belonging to that era. It is also one of the best places to feel the effects of the wind tower.
The fort is quite spacious inside. It was divided into individual chambers, housing the Amir’s army and royal family. The fort also includes water reservoir and a good drainage system. Strategically located, the fort is also important in terms of national security of Bahrain. It is surrounded by desert, and is one of the best places to feel the intensity of wind blown over desert sand during the nights.
Riffa fort in Bahrain, is a hot spot among the tourist attractions in Bahrain. The views of the Hunanaiya valley from the fort are eye catching and splendid. The majestic surroundings are picturesque and unpolluted.
This is a perfect location to have great evenings. This fort was the capital of the Bahrain Government till 1869 and was having strategic importance during those periods. The enthusiastic travelers can experience the amazing powers of the wind blowing in this region.
The fort stands on low steep ridge, overlooking the valley between the west and east Riffa. Though the fort was used as a private dwelling earlier, now it is open to public. It includes a section of Arabic calligraphy, including beautiful display of illuminated Quran and other documents, traditional trades and crafts, photographs and models, and other artifacts that represent the former source of wealth of Bahrain, before the oil advent.