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Exploring Jahra’s Red Palace

Kuwait Times will take you to explore the beauty of the Red Palace which is located in the southeast section of Kuwait’s second city, Al-Jahra. Jahra has long been known as an oases and a major agricultural center in Kuwait because of its wells.


The Kuwaiti writer, Yacoub Yousef Al-Hajji mentioned in his book “Old Kuwait Images and Memories” that the Red Palace was built in 1897 as a summer place for Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah.


The Red Palace is considered one of the most important historical landmarks of the State of Kuwait for its association with the famous 1920 Battle of Jahra.


In October of that year, a 4,000-strong force of Ikhwan from Saudi Arabia attacked Kuwait and Jahra, which was defended by then ruler Sheikh Salem Al Mubarak and 1,500 Kuwaiti fighters. The battlefield was the Red Palace (Al-Qasr Al-Ahmar), which now stands as a source of heroism and martyrdom. British military intervention eventually turned the tide in Kuwait’s favor.


The palace is a square-shaped building with an area of about 19,000 square meters by a 15 feet high and 2 feet thick walls. The palace also has three main gates.


Above these walls, there are towers called ghoula at the four corners of the palace that have different sizes of holes. These were design to give infantrymen a view and line of fire in all directions. The four towers are built with bricks made from mud mixed with local desert shrubs.
The palace has 33 rooms and six yards, one of the yards has a non-potable water well in the center. During the battle of Jahra, well water was used to treat the wounded and was drunk mixed with date palm to sweeten the taste.


The name of the Red Palace derives from the type and color of mud that was used in its construction. The palace consists of three sections: the residence of the emir, mosque, and diwaniya.


The Red Palace is currently used as the headquarters of the Badia Heritage Center that is under the umbrella of the National Council of Culture, Arts and Letters.


Entry is free.
You can visit the Red Palace during its opening hours from Sunday to Thursday from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM and evening timing from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM.
The Red Palace also receives visitors in the weekend on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM and from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM.

By Faten Omar

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