Old Castle Museum

Top choice in Oman

Home to an extraordinary museum, this private castle houses the personal collection of Sheikh Khalfan Al Hashmi. His great grandfather owned the 250-year-old castle and donated it to the government; it was restored to its former glory under the current Sultan Qaboos, who gave it back to the Al Hashmi family. The present owner lives in the castle, and has embellished the rooms with meticulously arranged collections of copper, ceramics, mirrors, electronics, wood and palm crafts, gleaned from homes around the country.

The museum is viewed on a guided tour and chances are, may end with coffee and dates with Sheikh Khalfan himself. If you have an interest in social history, you could spend all afternoon fathoming the mechanisms of metal traps, Bakelite telephones, mincers and redundant cassette players. Alternatively, linger longest in the first room of the tour, where a tray of meteorite chips jostles for pride of place among the family's inheritance of silver jewellery. This not-to-be-missed castle is signposted from the centre of Al Kamil.

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