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Al Hosn Palace
Transcript of Al Hosn Palace
Ayesha Mohammed Al Mehairi
Fatima Fahad AlHosani
Course Name: Emirates Society
Presented to: D. Saif Al Marri
1435 AH -2013 AD
* Qasr Al Hosn was built in 1793.
* It was used as a watch tower to protect the only fresh water well in Abu Dhabi.
Later on, it became a residence for the Ruler family (AlNahyan family).
* During the formation of the Trucial States in the 19th century, Qasr Al Hosn became increasingly more vital for the maintenance and protection of maritime trade
* Following the discovery of oil in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Shakhbout Bin Sultan (1928-66) ordered the improvement and extension of the fort, therefore creating work for thousands of local people.
* In 1939, the fort was converted into a palace, marking a big step in its evolution. This stage ended between 1943 and 1945.
* It continued as a royal palace and a chair of the government until 1966.
* There were two main entrances to the new palace — one in the north façade for men and the other in the south for women.
* Qasr AlHosn was usually called “The White Fort”.
* The reason behind that was that it sparkled from a distance because the mortar was made up of lightish sandy brown materials which contained crushed sea shells.
The White Fort
* During the rules of Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Shakhbout (1818-33) and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Shakhbout (1833-45), the fort was enlarged, repaired and fortified.
* As Abu Dhabi grew politically and economically during the rules of Sheikh Saeed Bin Tahnoun (1845-1855) and Sheikh Zayed Bin Khalifa (1855-1909), or Zayed the great, Qasr Al Hosn became the seat of power.
* During this time, Zayed the Great created a plinth outside the northwest square tower of the fort to serve as a Majlis. Previously, people had to wait outside the fort, and were called in to meet the ruler. This is quite a significant moment in the history of Abu Dhabi. It shows that the ruler is a man of the people.
After the formation of the UAE, Qasr Al Hosn ceased to be used as a palace due to the development of taller buildings around it which compromised its safety and privacy.
So, in the 1980s, the UAE's founding father Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1966-2004) ordered the structure to be converted into a centre for documentation and research.
"It is unique to have a tower that is recognizable as being the start of a nation. Qasr Al Hosn is this building for the UAE, and everything seems to stem from it,” Mark Powell Kyffin, an architect at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).
* Qasr Al Hosn is known for its beautiful architecture.
* The design, tile work and main gate is immensely wonderful.
* The importance and magnificence of the fort have attracted a lot of people from all over the world.
Qasr Al Hosn Today
Al Hosn is presently used as the Documentation and Research Center by the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation. The collection presented by the center comprises of several awestruck credentials on the heritage and history of the Gulf region. The exhibitions which are organized time to time present historical pictures and traditional relics. The weapons used in the evolution of Abu Dhbai are also depicted by the tower.
The start of nation
- Qasr Al Hosn today symbolizes the evolution of a civilization, both through its architecture and the significant happenings that it has witnessed.
- Qasr Al Hosn is the physical embodiment of the story of Abu Dhabi because the evolution of the building parallels the development of its people.