The Most Famous Landmarks in AlUla
Being the crossroads for so many a civilization has given the land of AlUla a history, unlike many others. From the inhabitants of the old Dadan and Lihyan kingdoms followed by the Nabateans and Muslim pilgrims, the marks of these people’s lives have been engraved into the stunning landscapes of this exotic region.
With Saudi Arabia opening up its borders to tourists in recent times, now is a fantastic time to go and see these great lands yourselves and discover the rich history that lies there.
If you don’t have time to go see everything though, then be sure to check out the most famous sights AlUla has to offer.
Hegra is a pretty special place as it was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site to be crowned in Saudi Arabia. The range of the historic wonders by human hands that can be found here dates all the way back to beyond the first millennium BCE and well into the first millennium CE.
The structures that indicate humanity’s presence in the region include preserved tombs and water channels belonging to the Nabatean civilization, relics of defensive walls, gates and towers belonging to the Romans, and many more such marks that give you a glimpse into the ancient wonder that the place once was.
There’s a lot to see in Hegra and planning things out yourself might not be all that efficient. Instead, we’d suggest taking up a guided tour to really get the most out of your visit.
The city of Dadan, the capital of the Dadan and Lihyan kingdoms, is one of the most notable attractions you’ll find in AlUla. This magnificent feat of human engineering is built entirely out of stone and was one of the foremost developed cities back in its heyday thank to its location among incense trade routes.
The city is, obviously, a massive place to explore and everything that you can experience there is sure to be marvellous. One such wonder that you should ensure you sear into your eyes are the tombs cut into the red-rock cliff faces towards the east of the city. These fine constructions showcase a high level of skill and ability in their creation with the famous Lion tombs being a highlight. With the tombs being about 50 meters above ground level, the mystery of their creation is also another intriguing factor for you to ponder on your visit.
Language is such a fascinating construct, there’s a huge variety existing in the world today and others lost to the past. If you’re interested in the latter, then visiting Jabal Ikmah is a must as it boasts the highest concentration and variations of pre-Arabic inscriptions.
Within this expansive valley, you’ll be able to find inscriptions in Thamudic, Minaic, Dadanitic, Nabatean and Aramaic. AlAqra’s mountain with its 450 early Arabic inscriptions and Naqsh Zuhair which hosts some of the oldest inscriptions of the Islamic era are both highly visited sites at Jabal Ikmah.
These inscriptions came about as a result of numerous visitors passing through the region and immortalizing their words onto mighty stone structures. Jabal Ikmah is known as the largest open library in Saudi Arabia and visiting it will allow you to peek into the lives of those that once were and experience a journey through time in the shoes of all those who walked those paths.
AlUla Old Town
Once a significant settlement along the pilgrimage road, AlUla Old Town has cemented itself as a highly prominent landmark in AlUla, one that totes a rich history of immense worth.
This labyrinthine town consists of 5 town squares, 900 mudbrick houses and 400 shops. These ancient architectural constructs can be still seen today with winding alleyways and hidden lanes plotting the paths that offer a glimpse into the olden world.
Among these ancient buildings lies the Masjid al-Izam, the restored Friday mosque that was visited by Prophet Muhammed along his travels.
All is not of the past at AlUla Old Town for, as you may know, exploring a place can be quite an exhausting endeavour. Luckily for you and other hungry visitors, there are a number of modern restaurants serving local and intentional cuisine along with a flourishing local market where you can buy some cool souvenirs at to remember your trip.
These places are but a few of the amazing attractions that can be seen here at AlUla, a region of historical wonder and beauty.