In the historic village of A'Ali in the northern centre of the country are the Royal Burial Mounds, dating back over 4,000 years. Though there are an estimated 100,000 Dilmun era burial mounds scattered across Bahrain, the 17 royal mounds are the most impressive. The biggest of these is mound 8, measuring 12 metres (39 ft) high and 50 metres (164 ft) across.
5. Dilmun Royal Burial Mounds
In the southern centre of the country, in a barren area of Arabian desert is one Prosopis Cineraria tree that has come to be known as the Tree Of Life. Covered in green leaves in an area where very little grows due to lack of rainfall, there is little certainty as to how it survives, though it has for over 400 years. Some believe that its 50 metre (164 ft) deep roots reach an unknown water source, while other more outlandish suggestions claim the tree is standing in what was once the Garden Of Eden, and therefore has a more mystical power keeping it alive.
4. Tree Of Life
Built in 1812 AD in the city of Riffa is the simply named Riffa Fort, though having been converted into a residence in the 19th century it often goes by the newer name, Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmed Fort. With its Persian architectural style and wall carvings from the era, it provides a glimpse of royal life in the 19th century, and is for Bahrain a sight of considerable historical significance. As well as offering fantastic views of the Hunanaiya Valley, it is also one of the best places to feel the effects of the wind tower, a traditional Iranian architectural element that allows ventilation.
3. Riffa Fort
Built in the 15th century, situated on Muharrag Island to the north east of the capital, Manama, is the Arad Fort, one of Bahrain's most important fortified castles. Constructed in a typical 15th century Islamic style, the fort has played a significant role in the countries history, having been occupied by the Portuguese when they occupied Bahrain in the 16th century, right through to the reign of Shaikh Salman Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa in the 19th century. Overlooking the shallow sea passage between Bahrain Island and Muharrag Island, this ancient compact defensive fort remains one of the countries most important historical landmarks.
2. Arad Fort
At the north eastern end of the main Bahrain Island is the city of Manama, the capital and largest city of Bahrain. Having long been an important trading centre in the Persian Gulf, the discovery of oil has allowed the city to become a modern capital of large and impressive high rise towers, with one of the notable being the enormous twin towered Bahrain World Trade Centre which holds on the ground floor the famous Moda Mall. Arguably the most important structure in the city is the Al-Fateh Grand Mosque, completed as recently as 1988 it is one of the largest mosques on the planet, having the worlds largest fibreglass dome.