German and International Research on Oman 1998

Muscat: the architecture of a city
by Vivienne Sharp [abstract]

The lecture is a photographic record of Old Muscat, the capital of Oman, which will be backed up by old images of buildings, many of which have now disappeared.
The lecture starts with the restored town wall of Muscat, which still follows the original alignment of the Portuguese walls, erected during their occupation 1507-1650. After a discussion of the 3 main gates, we move inside the walls to focus on the greatest legacy of Old Muscat - its 19th century town mansions. The author's photographs of these great houses reveal the restoration of some, whilst documenting the neglect of others.
The pictures of the former British Embassy are historic, as the Embassy was relocated in December 1994, and the old building was demolished. Whilst the twin forts, erected by the Portuguese in 1588, predate the period under discussion, they appear frequently in the views of Muscat.
The lecture includes images of the old Palace, as well as those of the present Palace, around which much of Muscat has been re-designed. Town plans convey the evolution of structures, built since the accession of Sultan Qaboos bin Said in 1970.

Index of Papers presented at the Oman Conference 1998
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Last updated on 21 May 1998.