Al Zubarah Fort
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Visit Al Zubarah Fort - A Heritage Site on Qatar's Windswept West Coast
To get to Al Zubara fort, head out of Doha along North Road. Start looking for signs to Al Zubara after the turn off to Al Khor. You'll need to do a U-turn and head back a few metres before turning right. Then just follow the road until you get to the fort.
The fact that Al Zubarah fort was built as late as 1936 is testimony to the turbulent relations it had with its neighbour and one time master, Bahrain. Until relatively recently, according to "Discovering Qatar", it was still used as a police post, with prisoners held in the top rooms of the towers. These rooms could be reached only by reached by a rickety ladder. Now only one of these top rooms is accessible - still by ladder.
Although there are a number of other ruins and settlements in the area, Al Zubarah fort is the most complete and best known, decorating many postcards and books. A cannon decorates the front of this fort, while the Qatari flag flutters proudly at the top.
When you arrive the caretaker will give you some keys, and you can let yourself in to the fort. Here you can see the displays of findings from the nearby excavations. We were more interested in the old well - when you peer through the metal grid that closes off its top, you can still see yourself reflected in the water deep below - although our view was slightly spoilt by floating bottles.
Climb up the internal stairs and you'll find curious holes in the metre thick walls. The holes allow light to come in but are twisted to make it difficult for enemies to fire into the fort. Wooden shutters are still used in the windows, and can be opened to allow the cooling wind in.