Saudi Arabia never fails to impress with its breath-taking manmade structures and natures marvels amidst its vast territory.
To present the best the country has to offer to the world, we conducted a nationwide campaign of picking the wonders of Saudi Arabia. And now through your votes we have the final 7.
1. Masjid Al Haram, Makkah – The Holiest Site in Islam
In the city of the birthplace of Islam is the largest mosque in the world. Muslims face in the direction of the Kaaba, which is housed within Masjid Al Haram, while performing their daily obligatory prayers. During Hajj (annual pilgrimage) the mosque holds one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world with Muslims flocking to it from all corners of the globe. Also housed within the premises is the Zamzam well, which has been gushing forth water for over 1,400 years from the middle of the desert.
Situated in the city of Madinah this mosque was established and originally built by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is the second largest mosque in the world and the holiest site in Islam after Masjid Al Haram in Makkah. It was also the first place in the entire Arabian Peninsula to be provided with electrical lights.
Every single day a magnanimous jet of water graces Jeddah’s skyline, a view of such breathtaking beauty that it dominates the city skyline. It lofts about seven tons of water into the air at any one moment at a nozzle speed of around 200 kilometers per hour. The plume with a height of over 260 meters surpasses the renowned Jet d’Eau’s height of 90 meters by a significant margin.
Mentioned in the Holy Quran, today this infamous city stands deserted amid a series of interlocking mountains and rocky cliffs. Over 2,000 years ago this was the home of the once flourishing Nabataen Kingdom. In 2008 it became the country’s first World Heritage Site for its well-preserved remains from late antiquity, especially the 131 rock-cut monumental tombs, with their elaborately ornamented façades, strikingly similar to the celebrated city of Petra in Jordan.
For over a thousand years Jeddah has been a major port of trade and served as a gateway for Muslim pilgrims traveling to Makkah and Madinah who arrived by sea. Through the constant influx of foreigners, the city became a multicultural center and overtime developed a unique architecture that we now refer to as Hijazi architecture. The historic Balad area is the epitome of Hijazi architecture and is where some of the last remnants of architecture can be found.
Sitting halfway down a cliff face about 63 kilometers southeast of Abha, this village is easily one of the most captivating places the Kingdom has to offer. When the village was inhabited the only way to reach it was by means of a rope (habel), thus the name ‘Habalah’. Remarkably it remained inhabited until about 1980, when the villagers were shifted to King Faisal village a few kilometers away from the original village.
Located in the northwest of the Kingdom, the caves at Madyan continue to be shrouded in mystery. Many believe that this was the very same place that Prophet Shoaib was sent. Many of the fascinating rock cut dwellings at Madyan remain unexplored.