Each heritage house in Bahrain is dedicated to an aspect of the country’s cultural heritage
Bahrain’s heritage houses add a cultural twist to the ‘Pearl of the Gulf’. Previously owned by prominent figures of the country, these houses have now become a centre of Bahrain’s unique architectural traditions and love for art.
Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research
A venue dedicated to the open exchange of knowledge and ideas, the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammad Al-Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research has welcomed more than 500 artists, speakers, poets and philosophers from around the world. The 20th century construction seamlessly blends together contemporary and traditional fabric into a single whole. It is noteworthy that this building of knowledge is built on the land of the original majlis (a place of sitting) of eminent intellectual Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.
The Kurar House was established in 2007 to preserve the dying and unique Bahraini art of Kurar embroidery. Kurar is a form of embroidery using a golden thread. The Kurar ribbon is then sown into the garment and burnished to give a final characteristic shine to the garment. This building provides a platform for elderly women to pass on their knowledge to younger generations.
Ibrahim Al Arrayed House for Poetry
Named after the famous Bahraini poet Ibrahim Al Arrayed, the Ibrahim Al Arrayed House is dedicated to the art of poetry. While this was built in the mid-20th century in the Bahraini colonial style, Ibrahim Al Arrayed acquired the building and lived there until the late 1970s. Opened in 2006, the House of Poetry has become a cultural centre for events related to poetry. A portion of this two-storey house is occupied by a museum, which showcases the belongings and poetry of Al Arrayed.
Bin Faris House for Sut Music
Opened in September 12, 2005, the Mohammed bin Faris Sut Music House is a museum commemorating the achievements of the Bahraini singer and musician Mohammed bin Faris. He was a master of a type of music that originated in the Arabian Gulf region, the Sut. Known for his own compositions and mastery of the art form, Bin Faris brought Sut music to new heights and gave it a particularly Bahraini form.
Shaikh Isa Bin Ali House
The beautiful house of Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa offers a glimpse of the 19th century royal life. This house is characterised by authentic period architecture, including extensive wall carvings and wooden ceilings that are constructed in a traditional way using palm tree trunks. This house is considered one of the most impressive examples of Gulf Islamic architectures on the island.
Words: Ahmed Hasan