Day 90 of 164 Days Around the World Cruise
Al Balad, also known as Jeddah's historic district, is a cultural and historical gem located in the heart of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This old part of the city boasts traditional architecture, narrow streets, and vibrant markets, providing a glimpse into the country's rich cultural heritage.
The district dates back to the 7th century and was once a bustling center for trade and commerce. Today, it has been preserved and restored by the government and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The district's unique architecture features coral stone buildings, ornate wooden balconies, and intricate filigree designs, giving visitors a glimpse into the traditional Hijazi style.
Visitors to Al Balad can explore the district's many markets, or souks, which are filled with traditional handicrafts, jewelry, and textiles. The Alawi Souk is a popular destination, famous for its gold and silver jewelry, while the Naseef House Museum offers a glimpse into the lives of wealthy merchants who once lived in the district.
Another must-see attraction is the iconic Al-Masjid Al-Atiq Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Jeddah, which dates back to the 14th century. The mosque's unique architecture and tranquil atmosphere make it a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.
In addition to its rich history and cultural heritage, Al Balad also offers a range of modern amenities, including cafes, restaurants, and art galleries. Visitors can sample traditional Saudi cuisine, such as kabsa and machboos, or explore the vibrant local art scene at one of the many galleries in the district.
In conclusion, Al Balad is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Saudi Arabia's rich history and cultural heritage. Its unique architecture, vibrant markets, and modern amenities make it a fascinating and enjoyable destination for visitors of all ages.