When we’re planning to visit Jeddah, I knew I had to put Balad in my itinerary. This Historical site is full of old houses with Ottoman and Andalusian architecture design. Balad, which literally means “The City”, is the historic center of the city of Jeddah. Al Balad was founded in the 7th century. It was established as a major port for Indian Ocean trade routes, distributing goods to Mecca.
Balad was in fact encircled by a wall that was meant to protect the city from Portuguese invaders who wanted to control navigation of the Red Sea. In 1947, the wall was destroyed and today only some gates of it remain, with small part of the wall attached. The gates are: Bab Makkah, Bab Sharif, Bab Al Bent, Bab Magharbah, Bab Sebbah, and Bab Jadeed. These gates were used to link Jeddah to the outside world. Bab Makkah was the gate for the muslim who wants to take their pilgrimage to Mecca. The gate in this picture is Bab Sharif.
The architecture of the old houses reflect the rich life of Jeddawis, who were mostly merchants. The intricate wood art on their window were carved skillfully by Indian and Javanese. Besides its function to block the sunshine, they were also designed to catch the wind for providing good ventilation throughout the house, a necessities for comfort during the hottest part of the summer. Furthermore, the wood was carved in such a way that it was easy to look outside while remaining hidden from public view.
The windows with part that just out over the street is actually balconies, the rawashin (singular: roshan), was used as an extension of the room and was filled with comfortable cushions where people could sit on the path of the evening breeze. The ones with beautiful designs were called mushrabiyah and the ones with more simple and practical grills used as windows are called shish.
Lots of lattices (wind catcher) on the houses
The houses were built in a tall structure. This was intended to have an extra comfort when people enjoy the evening breeze while relaxing on the roof top and to produce shades, which is much appreciated by the people walking on the streets during hot days.
Pictures below are some beautiful houses with intricate rawashin which could use some tender-loving-care to be preserved. Some are well-maintained.
Bayt Nasif or Nasif’s house is the most popular and the oldest building in this historical site, right in the middle of the souq. This ancient mansion has been renovated and considered as a symbol of Jeddah’s rich past. It was built in 1872 by the owner, Omar Nasif Efendi, a wealthy merchant and governor of Jeddah by then. This house belong to the Nasif family until 1975. Then it turned into a library and eventually became a museum.
Two pictures below are the souq (market) but because it's Friday morning the activity will not begin until after As 'ar pray time, that is around 3 pm.
Below are more pictures of old buildings with beautiful architecture that made Balad so enchanting. It's almost like in a fairy tale. -SK-
All Afo Clove Tree Aku Diponegoro Andalusian Andrea Hirata Anomali Coffee Architecture Art Gallery ASEAN Asian Games August Bakoel Koffie Balad Balai Sidang Bappenas Basoeki Abdullah Batavia Batik Beach Belitong Belitung Ben Tanh Biji Pala Bioskop Bisshop Blankenberg Blitar Bookshop Boplo Borneo Bouwploeg Bricklin Bar Cafe Budaya Jawa Bunderan HI Bunga Rampai Burgemeester Bisschopplein Cafe Cap Nyonya Cemetery Cengkeh Central Java Chinese Restaurant Christian Mara Cikini Cirebon City Of Batik Classic Car Classic Motorbike Clove Cochinchina Coffeeshop Coklat Monggo Colonial Building Colonialism Conservation Coral Reef Cornelis De Houtman Craft Cu Chi Tunnels Culture Cycle Of Life D'Alburqueque Dapur Cokelat Daun Simpur Dayak Del Cano District 1 Diving Drinking Tiger Dullah Dutch Dutch East Indies East Indian Company East Java Edison Hotel Eliza Van Zuylen Embroidery Enggang Ernest Dezentje Esplanade Food Court Exhibition Exotic Cars Exotic Island Fashion Fine Arts Museum Fine Dining Flores Fort Oranje Francis Drake French Colonial Fuli Galeri Nasional Gangan Gantong Garden Gayo Coffee Georgetown Gerak Budaya Gereja St Theresia Ghijsels Gondangdia Gudang Cafe Gudeg Pawon Gurney Paragon Habib Halab Handicraft Hardwicke House Hatta Hendra Heni Pridia Heritage Building Highland Coffee Hikayat Historic Site History Hoa Tuc Ho Chi Minh Hok Lo Pan Hot Air Balloon Hotel Hotel Continental Saigon Hotel Indonesia Hotel Majestic Hotel Schomper Ida Bagus Made Poleng Independence Day Independence Palace Indochina Indonesia Island Hopping Istana Bogor Istana Kepresidenan Istana Merdeka Jakarta Jakarta Event Jalan Cilacap Jalan Cokroaminoto Jalan Diponegoro Jalan Imam Bonjol Jalan Pasuruan Jalan Surabaya Jalan Teuku Cik Ditiro Jalan Thamrin Jamblang Javanese Jcc JEC Jeddah Jetty Jiwasraya Jogja Kali Besar Barat Kalimantan Kaliurang Kauman Kebon Jahe Kober Kebon Sirih Kecamatan Kelurahan Kempinski Kepulauan Bangka Belitung Kerkhoflaan Komodo Dragon Kopi Kota Kotagede Kraton Kunstkring Kupi Kuli Labuan Bajo Laskar Pelangi Latice Le Bourgeois Lee Man Fong Lemonade Lengkuas Lifestyle Lighthouse Little Japan Loge Lontong Maestro Magelhaens Maitara Malacca Malang Malioboro Maluku Manggar Martabak Masjid Cut Meutia Menteng Menteng Raya Mercusuar Metropole XXI Mie Mie Gondangdia Minangkabau Mooi Indie Moojen Mount Gamalama Mural Museum Museum Joang 45 Museum Kata Museum Perumusan Naskah Proklamasi Museum Taman Prasasti Music Instrument Mylpaal Nassaukerk National Gallery Nautical Academy Ngopi Nieuw Gondangdia Nillmij Notre Dame Cathedral Nurul Ikan Bakar Nusa Tenggara Timur Nutmeg Nutmeg Mace Nutmeg Tree Nyai Roro Kidul Oicc Old City Olympic Size Swimmingpool Omah Dhuwur Oriental Ottoman Padang Padang Kota Lama Padang Polo Painting Pakualam Pala Pandai Sikek Pantura Paramount Pasar Antik Pasar Cikini Patung Selamat Datang Pedestrian Friendly Pegangsaan Pekalongan Pelukis Penang Penang Esplanade People's Committee Peranakan Mansion Peristiwa Cikini Pesindon Philippines Philoan Tour Portuguese Post Office Presidential Palace Pulau Pulau Komodo Pulau Pinang Puppet Raden Saleh Rainbow Troops Rawashin Restaurant Reunification Palace RI72 RM Puas RSIA Bunda RS PGI Cikini Rumah Russian Wedding Saigon Saigon Opera House Saluang Sape Saragosa Agreement Sarinah Seafood Sejarah Selendang Senandung Ibu Pertiwi Senayan Setono Shish Sidji Situ Lembang Park Snorkeling Soda Soekarno Songket Songket Palembang Southeast Spaniard Spice Spice Trade Spumante St. Jo St Paulus Church Street Art Suffolk House Suropati Park Taman Tanah Abang Tanjung Kelayang Tanjung Pandan Tanjung Tinggi Tenun Baduy Tenun Ikat Tenun Tarum Ternate Teuku Umar The Hermitage Tidore Timah Toko Merah Tongole Tour Tourist Friendly Traditional Travel Travel Agent Tri Books Trio Trung Nguyen Coffee Tunes Of The Motherland Ullen Sentalu UNESCO Vacation Viavia Cafe Vietnam Vietnamese Coffee Vintage Car Vintage Motorbike VOC Von Imhoff Vrijmetselarij Walter Spies Warkop Wayang Weave West Java West Sumatera Window Winotosastro Wisata Budaya Wisata Kuliner Wiskul World Heritage Woven Clothes Yogyakarta