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Zaabal Castle – A Glimpse into the Nabatean Era in Sakaka, Northwest Saudi Arabia

Within the expansive canvas of Jouf, castles and fortresses stand as tangible echoes of diverse historical epochs.

Crowning a mountaintop to the north of Sakaka city, the Zaabal Castle emerges with an air of distinction, rising from the very rocks it graces, seamlessly merging with its natural surroundings.

Rooted in antiquity, the castle finds its origins in the Nabatean era, spanning from the 1st century B.C. to the 1st century A.D. While its current incarnation dates back around 200 years, its walls bear witness to the passage of time, constructed from a blend of stone and mud. The structure stands embraced by this protective barrier, guarded by four towering conical bastions that pierce the sky. Within, two rooms whisper stories of a bygone era.

In its prime, Zaabal Castle stood as a sentinel of strength, providing sanctuary for the people of Sakaka during tumultuous times of war and conflict. Its strategic role extended further, securing the vital commercial road that intertwined the destinies of Iraq and Syria, passing through this very region.

The courtyard cradles a meticulously carved basin, a testament to the ingenuity of those who crafted it, designed to preserve the precious resource of water. A vision for the future takes shape around the castle's precincts, a harmonious blend of restoration and construction efforts that honor its urban and archaeological essence. This metamorphosis aims to elevate its allure, drawing the curious footsteps of tourists and visitors, acknowledging its status as a pivotal historical and touristic landmark - an embodiment of the past that echoes through the corridors of time.