Discover the rich past of this once city-state

Explore The Museums of Taif

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Saudi Arabia's west coast has a long and impressive history, and Taif specifically played a significant role in the pre-Islamic era as a city-state. It served as a crossroads for both trade and pilgrims in the Hejaz region.

Currently, the city is a major local destination to escape the heat and is known to be the unofficial summer capital due to its colder climate and pleasant weather all year around.

It is worth noting that Taif's rare species of roses are also still sought after to this day, and many brands such as Ormonde Jayne Perfumery, Chanel, and Guerlain use its fragrance as an ingredient in their perfumes.

The ancient engraved art on the rocks in a site just 40 kilometers north of Taif demonstrates how far back its history goes. And there are remnants of its ancient travel routes still visible today. A part of this route has been recently restored to preserve its past:

 

Shubra Castle

Built-in 1905 by Sharif Ali, the Shubra Castle was used to house the Saudi Royal Family whenever they visited the city. In 1995, it was converted to a museum and made open to the public. Currently, it houses around 4000 different relics and archaeological artifacts collected over the years. The Shubra Castle has a stunning design mainly based on Islamic architecture with some Roman motifs. It’s considered to be one of the most important museums in the country.

Sharif Museum

This private museum is known for many things, but perhaps what makes it stand out even more is its owner. For almost 30 years, Al-Sharif Ali Bin Malbas has taken it upon himself to travel across the country in search of valuable historical artifacts. Today, the museum is home to a vast collection of artifacts. Al-Sharif has become a top destination in Taif. If you can, be sure to take part in their periodic auctions to get your hands on history.

Library and Museum of Abdullah bin Abbas Mosque

While still a functioning mosque, Abdullah bin Abbas Mosque also contains a rich library and museum containing ancient Islamic artifacts. The mosque had undergone several changes and was renovated and expanded during the reign of King Saud.

Currently, the mosque area is full of houses and shops, including the famous Al-Abbas Alley—making it a commercial and cultural center. Abdullah bin Abbas Mosque attracts large crowds and Imams who wish to pray within its walls, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.

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