The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is home to a quartet of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all of which provide unique and fascinating insights not only into the history of the Kingdom but also into the evolution of the Arabian Peninsula and its peoples.
The Kingdom’s first UNESCO World Heritage site is the stunning Madain Saleh, a necropolis in the northwestern part of the Kingdom featuring ornately carved stone tombs dating back to the 1st century AD and carved by the same Nabatean culture responsible for the world-famous Petra in neighboring Jordan. Pre-dating even Madain Saleh is the Rock Art of the Hail Region, a World Heritage Site comprising the biggest and richest rock art complexes in Saudi Arabia and the region and located near what was once a lake vital to the survival of both humans and animals. On the edge of today’s capital of Riyadh sits at-Turaif District in ad’Diri’yah, another of the Kingdom’s World Heritage Sites that is integral to the modern-day history of Saudi Arabia, having served as the capital of the Emirate of Diriyah under the first Saudi dynasty from 1744 to 1818. Finally, Historical Jeddah, one of the country’s most beautiful man-made sites that has witnessed centuries of pilgrims on their way to Makkah, boasts an architectural and cultural heritage that is indispensable to an understanding of the evolution of the Arabian Peninsula.
For further information, please visit: Saudi Arabia – UNESCO World Heritage Sites