Al Qanater Architectural Heritage – BOOK
This book unravels the rich heritage architecture and traditions of Al Qanater district – in the Ibra area’ which has flowed through the long story of Oman, and its historical trade links with East Africa, Persia, and India.
Ibra was once the centre of trade, religion, and education and a point where different cultures crossed harmoniously and emerged within the Omani culture and traditions. Ibra is divided into three main districts identified as Al Yahmadi, Al Ilayah (upper Ibra), and Al Safalah (lower Ibra) which is home of Al Qanater, the area we are focusing on in this book.
The main architectural element of these buildings is the arch (Qanater) in the house entrance gate and the rooms.
The arches (Qanater) are the symbol of the village and are important to be presented everywhere. Ibra’ is considered a palace that contains many Oman arch style.
AL Qanater consists of series buildings built of mud-bricks and stones. These buildings are a landmark for the Omani heritage. Most of the buildings consist of two-three floors.
The ground floor is used for the daily market which was (shopping area for products produced/made in Ibra) and hosting the guests (majalis areas), upper floors are mostly used as a private area for the family members.
A group of students of the Urban Planning and Architectural Design Department of the GUtech led by Lecturer Mr. Petrit Pasha engaged to present the reflection of the importance of the Al Qanater district – in the Ibra area rich with the heritage of vernacular buildings which have combined through ages.
During our visit, Al Qanater resembled us with a powerful image of the rich architectural heritage and the splendid history of the urban life that took place in the city thousands of years ago. We were astonished by the geometrical and floral patterns engraved on the wooden doors, windows, walls, sealings, and columns of the old mud houses which are examples of the flourishing trade between Oman and Persia, India and East Africa at that time.