a formidable wall around it and access is only possible from the harbor
side, up a steep flight of steps. No longer used as a prison, it
has been completely renovated and is used as a museum of Omani
heritage and culture for visiting heads of state and royalty.
Neither fort is normally open to the public.
western fort, like its twin Fort Jalali-the eastern fort at the
other side of the harbor, was not the first fortification on the
site. The rocky hilltops were strategically important long before
the Portuguese became active in the area. However, both these
present day forts were rebuilt by the Portuguese. Fort Mirani was
completed in 1587 and still has the remains of a chapel, complete
with a receptacle for holy water built into the wall. If you look
over the harbor wall from the entrance to the fort you can see the
name of visiting ships painted on the rocks beneath Fort Jalali.
museum was originally built around 160 years ago as a residence
for Ghaliya Bint –Salim Bin Sultan, a niece of the ruler Sultan
Said Bin –Sultan. The house is delightful tall building built
around a courtyard and reflecting a mixture of Arabic and Indian
ceilings, constructed of wooden beams with palm coverings,
complement the arched windows with their delicate lattice
plasterwork. The wooden window screens open in sections to control
ventilation and sunlight