Coveted because of its strategic location the city of Hail hosted several fortified buildings protecting its rulers. The oldest and probably the most famous is the A'arif Fort which is built on top of a rock which provides the best viewpoint over the city.
The A'arif historic fortress perched on the top of a mountain bearing the same name is located in the heart of the city of Hail. I was built in order to guard the city against possible enemies and has become today a landmark that offers a wonderful sight on the northern city.
Built with mud and clay, the rectangular-shaped citadel is 40 meters long and 11 meters wide and occupies an area of about 440 square meters. It had openings and watchtowers and windows (Turma) to be used by soldiers to sight any approaching hostile elements. It also has a residential area, a mosque, baths, prayer places, toilets, warehouses and other facilities that enabled citizens to live there for long periods.
The first construction of the fortress was made during the reign of the Al-Ali family at the end of the 11th Hijra century (17th century AD) and the additions and annexes were made to it during the rule of the Al-Rashid family. During the Saudi rule, the fortress was used for the sighting of the Ramadan moon and for firing the Iftar cannon.