Over the Hada Mountains above Mecca and on the eastern slopes of the Al-Sarawat mountains, lies The City of Taif, the cool and green Summer Capital located in the western part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. People come here for the weather (much cooler than Jeddah in the summer months), beautiful scenery and the town's relaxed atmosphere.
Driving along the winding roads to escape the steamy heat of Jeddah or entering from the east away from the dry desert clime of the Najd, visitors to Taif are greeted by a fresh, cool breeze as they ascend to the city. Set in a hollow between granite hills rising from the eastern slope of the Hejaz in the southwest region of the Kingdom, this city is a magnet that draws visitors from across Saudi Arabia.
Taif (which lies south east of Jiddah and the Holy City of Makkah) stands 1,800 meters above sea-level on the eastern slopes of the Al-Sarawat Mountains. Taif now covers a total area of about eight hundred hectares, whereas the area of the city did not exceed two and half square kilometers in 1951, which indicates the great expansion which the city of more than three hundred and fifty thousands population has witnessed.
The Archaeological Features in Taif
Taif region is rich in archaeological sites that date back to pre-Islamic era. Pictures and writings found on a lot of monuments
indicate their date and history. The most famous of these historical features was Souk (market) Okaz which played a distinguished role in the history of Arab poetry before Islam. The Souk was a forum for poetry debate in one of the richest era in the history of Arab literature and culture. Other important archaeological features in the city include many pre-Islamic fortifications, and Islamic mosques such as the Mosque of the Prophets Companion (peace be upon him) Abdullah Ibn Abass,The Mosque of Al-Koaa, The Mosque of Adas and The Mosque of Al-Sanousi.Taif also contains a number of historical palaces such as the Palace of Ismaiel, The Palace of Bahawat and The Palace of Shubra which were all built in the local construction style for which the western region of the Kingdom was famed. There are many archaeological embankments in the city of which we cite the Embankment of Wadi Ikrimah on which rocks were found some archaeological writings.
Places of Interest
- Wadi Mitna
- Al Rudaf Park
- Al Shafa
- Rock Carving Site
- Nature Reserve
- Tailor's Souk
- Turkish Fort