Al Hazm Castle (حصن الحزم) in Al Rustaq at Al Batinah region, is one of the most magnificent castles in Oman. It had been under renovation by the Ministry of Tourism for a few years and was recently re-opened to the public with modern electronic guides and exhibits that make a visit to this castle a must-do to anyone coming to Al Rustaq.
Al Hazm Castle was built around the beginning of the 18th century towards the end of the reign of Al Yarubi tribe over Oman when they made Al Rustaq the capital of their state. Al Yarubi tribe is most famously known for removing the Portuguese from Oman. They are also responsible for constructing a number of significant Omani forts and castles including Nizwa Fort and Jabreen Castle.
The difference between Nizwa Fort and Jabreen Castle on one side and Al Hazm Castle on the other side demonstrates the shift in the construction of Omani forts designed to withstand gun attacks, to Omani forts designed to withstand cannon attacks, with Al Hazm being the more technologically advanced structure. The construction of the castle is unique among other Omani forts and castles in the fact that no wood was used in the construction of its ceilings. Al Hazm castle sits somewhat between Nizwa Fort and Jabreen Castle in being a fortified structure, but also a palace in which the Imam resided. Therefore, even though it was designed primarily for defense purposes, it still features numerous delicate artistic architectural elements. It is worth noting that Al Hazm Castle is on the UNESCO tentative list for World Heritage Sites along with Al Rustaq Fort.
Al Hazm Castle has a square shape with two giant cylindrical cannon towers on the north and south corners of the castle. The first prominent feature of the main building of the castle is its intricate Indian wood gate. The castle also hosts the tombs of two Yarubi imams, a prison, a Quran classroom, and crosses the path of a falaj. The castle also showcases some unique engravings and architectural designs that are not seen in other castles such as those found in the cannon exhibition room in the castle tower.
Al Hazam Castle is one of the most recently renovated castles in Oman and is equipped with digital guides and detailed description of the exhibits. It is definitely one of the must-visit Omani castles in our opinion. It is located 160 kms away from Muscat and can be easily found by following the signs in Al Rustaq. The castle is open from Saturday to Thursday from 9am to 4pm and on Friday from 8am to 11am, entry fee for adults is 0.5 OMR and kids enter for free.