Old Coral Houses

sights / Architecture

Old Coral Houses information

Jeddah , Saudi Arabia
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Jeddah’s old coral houses are in a sorry state. Unique among the sea of dilapidation is the restored Naseef House , which belonged to one of Jeddah’s most powerful trading families. It’s set back from Souq al-Alawi. Look out for the wide ramps installed by King Abdul Aziz in place of staircases so that camel-mounted messengers could ride all the way to the upper terrace in order to deliver messages.

Shorbatly House also boasts some lovely mashrabiyya (balconies with perforated screens to allow the air to circulate and inhabitants to look out without being seen). Though once restored during the 1980s, it has since been allowed to deteriorate. It is officially closed to visitors, but the staff at Naseef House may be able to arrange access.