The recapture of
Riyadh on the 5th day of Shawwal 1319AH by the late King Abdulaziz
and his brave companions has marked the beginning of a new era in the history
of the Arabian Peninsula. Through continuous struggle and perseverance, King
Abdulaziz has succeeded in unifying the various regions of Saudi Arabia into
a single modern state. Now, the sunrising of this fifth day of Shawwal 1419AH
announces the elapse of one century since the foundation of the Kingdom of
On this occasion,
the Higher Committee for the Centenary Celebrations has considered the
establishment of the King Abdulaziz Historical Center to stand as a national
landmark in the Kingdom, reflecting the history of the Arabian Peninsula, the
immortal massage of Islam and the solid grounds on which Saudi Arabia is
The High Commission
for the Development of ArRiyadh sat forth the guidelines, concept and design
of the Center. The Commission has supervised the various work stages with the
view that the design of the Center should reflect the heritage, history, and
the cultural background of Riyadh.
A tour of the Center
Antiquities and Museums Agency
Darat Al-Malik Abdulaziz
King Abdulaziz Public Library
King Abdulaziz Mosque
King Abdulaziz Auditorium
Parks and green
areas mark the main features of the Center with its numerous social and
cultural structures, adding a natural environmental image and availing a
green area in the center of the City. There are five main fenced parks, a
sixth open park, a vast main Maydan, an oasis of Palm Trees and a water
stream flowing from an old water well.
The Maydan, a vast square of 20,000 sq. m., is situated in the middle of
King Abdulaziz Historical Center. It is intended to be used for social and cultural
celebrations in exceptional occasions and Eids.
The Parks occupy an area of 20-30 thousand sq. m. forming the
major part of the Center's area. The other facilities of the Center seem as
natural islands surrounded by the green areas.
The palm tree is a symbol of
patience and gratitude, therefore, palm trees were used to expressively
exemplify the years of struggle of the Kingdom. A palm oasis of 100 palm
trees to indicate the elapse of 100 years overlooks the Maydan at a
relatively high ground. In the northern part of the Maydan, an old water well
was reconstructed. Water is bumped from the old well in a water stream
running across the central Maydan and terminating in an artificial lake and a
Situated at the
eastern side of the Main Square, the museum’s two-storey modern building
accommodates the latest in museology and display techniques. The building,
covering an area of 28,000 sq. m., consists of eight main galleries and two
others for short-term exhibits, plus the major facilities of the museum.
The National Museum has been designed after studying various
renowned museums worldwide. This was to ensure that it would be a national
landmark in the Kingdom helping to enrich the country's educational and
The museum's approach to portray man’s history is derived from
the Islamic facts and realities regarding the Creation of Man. Here, a unique
method is adopted to show the sequence of historical developments.
Each of the main galleries represents a particular period of
time; beginning with the creation of the universe, up to the present era.
Touring the museum would enable the visitor to journey from
mysteries of the birth of the universe, through the prehistoric times and
ancient civilizations, and to the early proto-Islamic (Jahiliyya) era. Then
comes the advent of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) and the Islamic
civilization, followed by the Saudi States. Last of all comes the gallery
concerning Hajj and the Two Holy Mosques.
Ground Floor Diagram
Man and the Universe Gallery
Exhibition in this
gallery operates within four basic themes. The first assigned for the issue
of the creation of the universe and the formation of earth surface elements.
The second one is to brief visitors on fossils which report to millions of
years back, while the various environments in Saudi Arabia are tackled in the
third section. The last section refers to the eldest discoveries surrounding
the discovery of man in the Arabian Peninsula in old history.
The Arabian Kingdoms Gallery
This gallery covers
ancient history in Arabia from the year 6000BC to 400AD. A tour of this
gallery would begin with a glimpse at what is known as the 'Dawn of History
in Arabia', with an exhibit of antiquities from civilizations that dare back
to 4000BC, followed by a review of symbolic writing and the first alphabets,
which developed, into primitive writing.
Here, exhibits range from the reconstruction of the ancient
'Taima Wall', to more modern, interactive display modes. The main part of the
gallery is dedicated to detailed information about the Arabian Kingdoms,
featuring those of the early, mid and late periods. Among the significant
exhibits in the early kingdom's sector is that of the town of Madyan. As for
the middle period kingdoms, the gallery exhibits models of buildings from the
town of Alfau. The gallery concludes with a section on the famous towns of
the Late Arabian Kingdoms including Ain Zubaidah and Alaflajj.
The Jahiliyyah Gallery
This gallery mainly represents the proto-Islamic age of the
Arabian Peninsula; from the year 400AD till the advent of Prophet Muhammad
(Peace be upon Him). The tour of this gallery reveals much about the Arab
tribes, their beliefs, traditions, antiquities as well as the development of
Arabic calligraphy. Among the more important exhibits of the hall are of the
fortresses built by the people of AI-Madinah and a selection of pottery and
The Prophet's Mission Gallery
focuses on the major events of Prophet Muhammad's life from the time of his
birth to his migration to Al-Madinah. It features facts about his lineage,
upbringing and the call of Islam. On display, in the middle of the gallery is
a copy of the Holy Qur'an, the Sacred Book of Islam. The gallery ends with a
unique, ceramic bridge, decorated to depict the stages of the Prophet's
migration from Makkah to AI-Madinah (The Hijra).
Islam and the Arabian Peninsula Gallery
This gallery covers
the history of the Arabian Peninsula, from the Hijra of Prophet Muhammad
(Peace be upon Him) up to the period preceding the advent of the first Saudi
Exhibits in the first section feature the Islamic state during
the reign of Prophet Muhammad. This begins with the 'Dawn of lslam' and its
progression with the Hijra to Al-Madinah and then the conquest of Makkah.
Finally, comes the farewell pilgrimage and the death of the prophet (Peace be
The second section is
allocated for the era of the caliphs. The next wing represents Amawi, Abbasi,
Mamaleek, and Othmani era.
The First and Second Saudi States Gallery
This gallery offers
an integrated exhibition of the first and second Saudi States, reviewing the
progress made by their first leaders, as well as the cultural and civic aspects
of Addir’iyah as the most prominent town of the state. The focus of the First
Saudi states concludes with the military campaign of Ibrahim Basha and the
destruction of Addir’iyah.
The history of the Second Saudi State is then reviewed through
the display of documents referring to its foundation, achieved by Imam Turki
Bin Abdullah, who declared Riyadh as the capital and later on, unified Najd.
The gallery also reviews the succession of the Imam's heir; Faisal Bin Turki.
The gallery concludes by displaying some documentaries and
pictures of King Ahdulaziz's youth while away from his hometown.
The Unification Gallery
The gallery covers the main events that lead to the foundation
of the modern Saudi State by the Late King Abdulaziz Al Saud, beginning with
the recapture of Riyadh in 1319 AH.
The gallery further illustrates King Abdulaziz efforts to
unify the regions of the State and establish a Kingdom. Soon after, the
efforts were put to initiating the states various structures. The gallery
offers some authentic material and models of buildings representing some of
the Kingdom's towns and villages. The gallery also features a documentary
film, complete with audio-visual effects, about the different stages of the
unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia·
Hajj and the Two Holy Mosques Gallery
The two mosques
represent the holiest spots on the face of earth, therefore, they deserved a
separate gallery. This gallery exhibits the history of the development of
both mosques throughout the successive Islamic periods till the recent Saudi
architectural development and expansions. The Pilgrimage, the Hajj Holy Sites
and the roads leading to Makkah are also exhibited.
and Museums Agency
A new structure of 3000 sq. m. for antiquities and museums agency
connected with the National Museum was constructed. The agency building is
functionally independent from the museum. The building is comprised of 2
stories: the first for administration and research purposes, while the second
is for rehabilitation and documentation works.
Al-Murabba' Pa lace
is considered the most historically important building in the Center. The
Late King Abdulaziz has ordered, in 1357 AH., the construction of a complex
of palaces outside the boundaries of Riyadh at Al-Murabba'land to become his
family's residential palace. The complex consisted of residential palaces,
services building and the Diwan of King Abdulaziz. The Palace had hosted
various Arab and Islamic Leaders and witnessed many national events. Simplicity
was the main characteristic of the Palace design.
The land of AI
Murabba' Palace in itself is acquiring a historical significance. The complex
comprised the famous King Abdulaziz Diwan, King Abdulaziz Palace (Currently
Al-Darah) a number of buildings and archeological sites.
The High Commission has cared for repairing these sites in
accordance with the internationally accepted standards.
Located at the
Western side of the Center’s main Maydan, the Darah (King Abdulaziz
Foundation for Research and Archives) is one of the major elements of King
Abdulaziz Historical Center. The 7000 sq. m. building housing the Darah was
built at the site of the residential palace of King Abdulaziz with a total
built area of 12,000 sq. m. It has been reconstructed without affecting the
basic features of the palace.
The Darah building is comprised of the following:
administration offices, a library, a female research section, services zones,
the outdoor areas, a section for the Al-Darah Magazine, and King Abdulaziz
Memorial Hall. Darat AI Malik Abdulaziz activities serve the Kingdom's
history, geography, arts, ideology, architecture, etc. Its role also includes
enhancing scientific research activities.
v King Abdulaziz Memorial Hall
A major part of the
Darah, the King Abdulaziz Memorial Hall was established to commemorate King
Abdulaziz and his efforts to unify the Kingdom. The hall exhibits King
Abdulaziz's ideologies and biography.
King Abdulaziz Public Library
The library is a charity organization established by King
Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz when he was the Crown Prince in the year 1988. The
Library serves males and females of all ages. It is provided with halls for
reading, audio visuals, manuscripts and distinguished collections.
The mosque is
situated in the western side of the main Maydan south of Al-Murabba' Palace
and opposite to King Abdulaziz Road from the North Direction. The Mosque can
accommodate (4,200) worshippers. Traditionally, the Mosque was part of the AI
Murabba' complex of palaces, and was connected to the second floor of King
Abdulaziz Diwan through a bridge.
A fully equipped GOO-seat auditorium to host symposiums and
conferences is located next to the Library.
Located at the
South Eastern part of the Public Park, The Tower was built in 1391AH. to
boost water pressure in the public water network. The Tower's two tanks are
with a capacity of (12,350) cubic meter. There is a fully equipped restaurant
at the top of the Tower.