Fort al Jalali history
Al Jalali Fort is a fortified enclosure covering the entire mountain top with walls surrounding garrison buildings, a single watch tower, and a large gun platform overlooking the bay. The fort had a single staircase of 80 steps cut into the rock. Fort al-Jalali was built by the Portuguese around 1587 to protect the harbor after Muscat had twice been sacked by Ottoman forces. It fell to Omani forces in 1650. During the civil wars between 1718 and 1747, the fort was twice captured by Persians who had been invited to assist one of the rival Imams. The fort was extensively rebuilt later. At times, al Jalali served as a refuge or a jail for a member of the royal family. For much of the 20th century it was used as Oman's main prison, but this function ended in the 1970´s. Fort al-Jalali was restored in 1983 and converted into a museum that is accessible only to dignitaries visiting the country.