The oasis city of Nizwa, the largest in Picture of Nizwa Grand Mosque the interior province, was the capital of Oman in the 6th and 7th centuries.
Today it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions with its historical buildings and imposing fort built in the mid 17th century by Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya'ribi, The town's immense palm oasis stretches for eight kilometers along the course of two wadis.
It is famous for its bustling souq where tourists can buy exquisite copper and silver jewellery and other craft items.
About 140km from Muscat, Nizwa is a popular destination for tourists and residents of Oman alike. In the sixth and seventh centuries, Nizwa was the capital of Oman and the centre for trade between the coastal and interior regions.
It is still the largest and most important town in this area of the interior. Historically the town enjoyed a reputation as a haven for poets, writers, intellectuals, and religious leaders, and for centuries it was considered the cultural and political capital of the country.
Positioned as it is alongside two wadis, Nizwa is a fertile sea of green with an oasis of date plantations stretching eight kilometres from the town. Its two notable attractions include Nizwa’s 17th century fort and the magnificent Jabrin Fort, renowned for its wall and ceiling decorations and its secret passageways and staircases.
Many ancient ruins such as Bahla Fort and mud brick villages can be seen among the date palm plantations and the wadis. Nizwa acquired its importance because it has been an important meeting point at the base of the Western Hajar Mountains.
Set amid a verdant spread of date palms, it is strategically located at the crossroads of routes linking the interior with Muscat and the lower reaches of Dhofar thus serving as the link for a large part of the country.
The Nizwa Souk is an interesting and atmospheric place where visitors will find many examples of the local silversmiths’ art, especially ornately engraved khanjars.
It is a centre for date growing and packing, and the market place for the Dhakliya area. In the early 1950s the large round tower of the ancient Fort built around 400 years ago in the centre of the town was bombed and rocketed by the British
Royal Air Force who were called in to assist the then reigning Sultan, Said bin Taymour in suppressing a revolt by tribal leaders in the interior which was in reality a struggle for shares in the newly discovered oil wealth.
Nizwa has become a more modern city under the reign of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said with roads and communications, a substantial hospital, schools, and the Training academy for the Royal Oman Police(ROP) all being established over the past thirty years.
There are now three good hotels and tourism is promoted in the area, which has some outstanding mountain scenery close by.