Al-Hajar City (Madain Saleh)

Arab landmarks

Mada’in Saleh, formerly known as Al-Hijr City, is an archaeological site located in the Hejaz region of the Arabian Peninsula, northwest of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, specifically in the Al-Ula Governorate of the Medina region.

The place occupies a strategic position on the road linking the south of the Arabian Peninsula with Mesopotamia, the Levant and Egypt. The place has its historical fame, which it derives from its location on the ancient trade route linking southern Arabia and the Levant.

The stone was mentioned in the Qur’an as the home of the people of Thamud, who responded to the call of God’s Prophet Saleh, then abandoned their religion and stabbed the she-camel that God sent them as a sign, so he destroyed them with a shout.

Mada’in Saleh is one of the most important Nabatean cities after their capital Petra. It contains the largest southern settlement of the Nabataean kingdom after Petra in Jordan, which is separated from it by a distance of 500 km. Its fall at the hands of the Roman Empire in 106 AD, and it is believed that Hegra continued its civilization until the fourth century AD, and was the capital of the Lihyan Kingdom in the north of the Arabian Peninsula.

The ruins of Madain Saleh include 153 carved rock facades, as well as a number of Islamic monuments, which are represented in a number of castles and the remains of the Hejaz Railway, which extends for a distance of 13 km, as well as the station and locomotives.

In the year 2008 AD, the site was registered in the list of World Heritage sites, thus becoming the first site to be registered in Saudi Arabia. There is also another archaeological site known as Madain Shuaib, located northwest of Madain Saleh and affiliated to the Tabuk region. The site contains antiquities very similar to those found in Madain Saleh.

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