WATCH: Barzan Towers - a piece of Qatar's history
In 1910, the Barzan towers were built by Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al-Thani as part of a defensive system against enemy invaders, more specifically, the Ottomans.
A raudah is a valley where rainwater may be collected from higher ground, and the towers were constructed partly to protect this area. It is thought that they may also have been used as a look-out against pirates.
The towers stand 14 meters tall, and get their name from an Arabic term for ‘high place’. The eastern tower was, in fact, originally called by a different name, Al Burj Al Sharqi.
They were used to spot the new moon each lunar month of the Muslim calendar, especially at the beginning of Ramadan and Eid. Two observers would climb the towers, and if they were in agreement about the moon’s sighting, a new month would officially be deemed to commence.
The towers were constructed in the traditional fashion, with walls of raw coral rock and limestone held together by a mud mortar and then covered with a gypsum-based plaster. The walls are thick as a measure to keep out the heat.
Photo Credit: Mary Coons' blog