From Riyadh, if you drive west in the direction of Taif, you can take a short distance route to Al Bahah. As you ascend Al Bahah, the temperature drops significantly. Most of the part, clouds are gathered, surprising one with droplets of water at times.
Dhee Ayn or, as it is also known, Aqabat Al Baha; it is visible for several kilometres as one approaches the village. Even from a distance, the place can easily be located by the white glow that surrounds it. The houses of the village itself are not made of marble but of flake stones and slate. Instead, the village got the signature name of “Marble Village,” for the rocky outcrop it is built upon.
This intense landscape is surrounded by Palm groves, banana, vegetable and herbal plantations, a perpetual stream and natural wilderness.
Banana plantations are a common spectacle in the valleys of Al Bahah. Before reaching the Marble Village as you descend the escarpment of Al Bahah, you can feel the smell of village life with these banana and guava sellers on the roadside.
Fashioned with shale slabs, slates and rarely of marble pieces, this huge construction is a marvellous art of construction. Parts of the settlements are broken-down and a serious renovation of the village is under way.
The off-white marble hill and greyish black stone structures provide a high contrasting image during the early morning, with rising sun and evening along with the setting sun.
The Marble Village can easily be accessed through the nearby plantations and backwoods. A nearby stream of crystal water keeps this area green.
Apparently, no plaster was found used to set the flakes of rocks in construction. Stone beams are used for doors and windows. The ceilings are made of stones with the support of wood. Depending on the availability, the wood of al-Ar’ar, al-Ithl and al-Talah are used for the construction of ceiling in these types of buildings.
Visitors to Dhee Ayn must take extra care when entering the rooms as some parts of the walls are severely damaged.
The marble village is a wondrous symbol of creativity. With flakes of stones, the most available construction materials in the area, a small village has been beautifully erected. Almost all provinces you visit in the Kingdom has its own architectural characteristics in the very near past. That’s what makes Saudi Arabia very distinct!
You can very well choose to either stay in Taif or even Riyadh if you wish to visit this stunning sight.
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