Historic Jeddah Center is one of the major tourist attractions that recently caught the attention of foreigners and locals. Jeddah’s modernization became quick for a decade and people have been missing the touch of Arabian culture in Jeddah.
Although this place has been here for ages, it was just opened to public as a historical site around 2-3 yrs ago for Ramadan events. It has gained the attention of many expats and even locals who have honestly waited for places like this to open in Jeddah.
You’ll see old buildings that have preserved their architectural styles. Being there makes you feel you went back to the past as you walk down the streets surrounded with rich Arabian style. It reminds me of a place in the Philippines, Vigan, where all the houses have been preserved to look like the hispanic time.
Historical Jeddah houses
The people of Jeddah built houses using rectified stones, which were mined from the nearby Al Arbaeen Lake then shaped them manually with hand-tools and placed in positions according to their sizes, separated by wooden planks. The wood planks were brought from the neighboring areas like Wadi Fatima or brought directly from abroad through the sea port (especially from India). They also used clay, which was used for bonding the stones and compacting them into building blocks. The separating or partitioning wooden planks were called “Tkalil” which were for distribution of load on the walls evenly. The old buildings were large and similar to the modern concrete buildings, and they almost all had roshans made of wooden structures to alleviate the effects of desert climate.
These dwellings were characterized by the existence of skylights ‘Mlaagaf’ in all the rooms and the use wood ornate boxes called ‘Roshans’ covering the wall openings which controlled the air flow to spread it all around the house and also throw their shadows on the adjacent walls of the house to mitigate the effect of heat in summer. Also these houses were built close to each other to have their windows thrown on the next building to ward of heat from the desert sun.