City of old Diriyah
The mosque of Mohammad Bin Abdul Wahab at Old Diriyyah in Riyadh © Mnowfal
The ruins of the historically significant city of Diriyah, statuesque and silent in the desert about 12 miles (20km) northwest of Riyadh city centre, provide an interesting excursion. The city, originally the stronghold of the powerful Saud family, was the site of an important Islamic reform movement in around 1745, when two influential imams called for the people to return to the true faith and abandon heresy, polytheism, and superstition. In its heyday, the city was the biggest in the Arab Peninsula, but was overtaken by Riyadh after being destroyed by the Turks in the early 19th century. The ruins of many of the mud-brick buildings remain to be explored.
Opening times: Saturday to Thursday 8am-6pm, 3am-6pm on Fridays.