As the world marks International Museum Day on Saturday, Saudi Arabia is getting one of its national treasures in Ad Diriyah ready for opening to the public at the beginning of 2020.
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Four museums will open their doors to the public alongside the newly restored Salwa Palace: Diriyah Museum, the Military Museum, the Arabian Horse Museum and the Saudi Daily Life Museum.
The Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) is striving to turn Ad Diriyah into one of the region’s foremost destinations for historical and cultural knowledge-sharing activities.
“Ad Diriyah has a special place in the heart of all Saudis. The DGDA is working to transform Ad Diriyah into a globally renowned gathering place and a must-visit destination in the heart of the Kingdom,” DGDA CEO Jerry Inzerillo told Arab News.
“We’re committed to developing Diriyah Gate, starting with an extensive beautification project of the areas surrounding Ad Diriyah and At-Turaif, and creating spaces for families and communities to enjoy,” he said.
“This work has already begun, with thousands of square meters of green surfaces added to Ad Diriyah.”
The tour began at Salwa Palace. Extending over an area of at least 5,000 square meters, Salwa, which means solace or comfort in Arabic, is the largest single structure in Ad Diriyah, a city in Saudi Arabia’s central Najd region.
The palace consists of seven architectural units built in successive stages, starting from the time of Prince Muhammad bin Saud bin Muqrin, the founder of the first Saudi state in 1744.
The area abounds in palaces and mud houses of historical and cultural significance. The most prominent of them is Salwa Palace, where the affairs of the first Saudi state were conducted.
Among the other structures are Imam Mohammed bin Saud Mosque, Saad bin Saud Palace, Nasser bin Saud Palace, and a traditional hospitality palace. The neighborhood is enclosed by a large wall and towers that once served to protect the city.
Salwa Palace was built in distinctive Najdi architectural style.
The walls have decorative triangular windows designed to recirculate air and bring natural light into the rooms. The materials used for construction were mud bricks, straw and logs of wood.
The clay from which the bricks were made was extracted from underground soil layers.
At-Turaif and Al-Bujairi are connected to each other via the Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Wahab Bridge, a 75-meter-long curved structure built on the banks of Wadi Hanifa.
The bridge enables visitors to go directly from the premises of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Wahhab Foundation in Al-Bujairi to the reception center on Qu’a Al-Share’a street in At-Turaif, located next to Salwa Palace.
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