Birkat al Mawz 2009

Birkat al Mawz 2009

After touring Manah, the group headed off for a new destination, a village at the entrance into Wadi Muaydin which leads up Jebel Akhdar.

The destination was Birkat al Mawz, literally banana pools. While the main tourist attaction is the fortified house of Bait al Radidah -- which was closed on the day we visited -- we were impressed with the collection of mud and stone houses clinging to the mountain slope above the modern village.

A falaj system meandered through the houses and, after crossing an impressive aquaduct, continued down the wadi distributing water to dozens of well-kept farms.

We spent some time exploring the abandoned houses, climbing to the top where the remains of a tower provided a spectacular view of the valley below. Some laborers, enjoying an afternoon of relaxation, joined us near the tower where everyone took photographs of one another!

Before returning to Nizwa, we purchased fresh baked bread at a tanour bakery in the new village.

Electrical lines indicate the
houses had modern services

The main falaj channel

Stairs leading up through
the abandoned houses

Some houses were in
very good condition

The light offered different

Natural light

The ceiling timbers and
matting of one house

Another view

A cat's sleep interrupted,
a scarf hanging on a peg

Wall decorations

Baskets and bowls


Soot stains the walls

View looking uphill

The houses are multi-storey

The gardens below

Many houses have

Plaster fallen away to expose
the flat stones used in the wall

House (right) of mud brick
and stone

Exposed rock above
the houses

Houses built exclusively
with flat stones (slate?)

Another view of the
stone houses

From the tower looking
down on the village

Another view of the valley

Looking down the wadi
towards the old road to Muscat

Aqueduct (left) and a
fort downstream

The fort downstream

The old and new villages

Aqueduct cutting through the
date gardens

Tower remains (right)
and gardens below

Another view

View towards Nizwa

Some of the stone houses

Stone houses


More of the mud and
stone houses

Laborers joined us
near the tower

Everyone took turns
photographing each other

Interior of one house

Note the fine stone wall

Peaked archway

Were those rifle slots from
the original building?

One of the passage ways
near the tower

Stone was the main building
material for many houses

Walkways were narrow
and winding

Evidence of renovations

Well-built two-storey

Falaj and pathway at lower
levels of the old village

Interior of one home; were
the mud walls painted?

Steel pipe used for
pegs on the walls

A magnificent house

Different perspective
of the magnificent house

House may have been
three stories high

Another view of falaj which
used for irrigation and bathing


Natural light of interior

As at Manah, houses
extended over pathways

Garden outside the village

Engraved door

Blue and yellow paint was
used to decorate the door

Door bell

Double set of heavy
doors on gate into village

Alley leading to the
abandoned hosues

Bob making his way back
to the cars


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Patron: H.E. Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan

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