Taqah Castle (حصن طاقة) is the most popular castle to visit in the region of Dhofar in the South of Oman. Taqah Castle is located in Taqah, an old city 33 kilometers east of Salalah.
Taqah Castle was built in the 19th century. This makes it a relatively new castle in comparison to forts and castles found in the north of Oman, such as the forts in Nizwa, Bahla, and Nakhal, which are hundreds, if not thousands, years old. Taqah Castle is also different from other landmark castles in Oman in the fact that it used to be a private residence for a tribal leader, Sheikh Ali bin Taman Al Ma’shani – the grandfather of the mother of Sultan Qaboos. Taqah Castle became the property of the government in the first half of the 20th century during the times of Sultan Said bin Taimur, the father of Sultan Qaboos. During the 1960s the castle was expanded by adding the outer wall and its four towers. The castle was more recently renovated during the times of Sultan Qaboos and reopened as a museum in 1994.
The small Taqah Castle was used as a the office and residence of the Wali of Taqah until 1970. The ground floor of the castle has a prison, a reception hall, a guards room, and some storage rooms. The upper floor of the castle has the watchtowers and the family quarters of the Wali. The rooms of the castle are now used to display numerous exhibits such as weapons and cookware.
Taqah Castle is worth visiting if you are coming to Dhofar, it is nice and compact, and showcases a lot of exhibits illustrating the old Omani way of life. It is also worth noting that the late mother of Sultan Qaboos is also buried in the graveyard right next to the castle making this a significant site in terms of recent history.
Taqah Castle is located in the heart of Taqah city, you need to drive east out of Salalah to get to it. The fort is open from Saturday to Thursday from 9am to 4pm and on Friday from 8am to 11am. Entry fee is 500 baizas for adults.
View Taqah Castle in a larger map