Why did the Sahoud Palace tower collapse twice?

In November 2020, the western tower of the historic Sahoud Palace collapsed in the city of Mubarraz, central Al-Ahsa Governorate, and the responsible party rushed to restore it, and the fall was preceded by a complete restoration of the palace that ended in 2019 at a cost of 2.8 million riyals. And yesterday afternoon (Sunday), the tower collapsed again, less than a year and 6 months after its restoration, which caused an uproar in the media and media sites, and those interested in heritage did not hide their grief over this incident, which resulted in several hypotheses.

The fall of the tower brought back to the minds of those concerned the sounds of warnings issued by specialists about the possibilities of collapse, which are similar to the first collapse. And the specialist in heritage management, Dr. Fahd Al-Hussein, told “Okaz” that the treatment of the original building materials used in the restoration of palaces and mud urban heritage buildings, turned them into dangerous materials. of the ancient buildings, and hastened their collapse, and changing the properties of the clay materials used in the restoration of the historic Sahoud Palace was the straw that broke the back of the dilapidated palace because of its age, which dates back to about 235 years ago. The vibrations accompanying the car passing by the palace contribute to the disturbance of the building, but the road is old and the palace is surrounded by four roads.

Among the likely reasons for the fall of the tower, the low materials used in the restoration, and their unsuitability for the weather of the region, the treatment is similar to cosmetic operations from the outside, ignoring the origin and basics, not taking into account the moisture factor inside the walls and ventilation, not conducting tests to study the degree of cohesion of the soil of the palace floor, and the extent to which its foundations are affected by groundwater Or the sewage. In the restoration process, original building materials were not used, like or similar to the materials of its old building, and there is no suitable recoil space separating the motorway from the palace, which causes the setbacks of cars and trucks to move directly to the palace building.

It is noteworthy that Qasr Sahoud is one of the most famous castles of the first Saudi state, registered in the list of national heritage.

It is likely that it was built during the first period of the rule of Bani Khalid in the late 11th century AH, when Al-Mubarraz at that time had become the capital of Al-Ahsa Province and was built in a rectangular shape and height (8.75 m). Four of it the highest walls of defense.

The Heritage Authority revealed a partial collapse yesterday afternoon (Sunday) in one of the sides of the western tower of Sahoud Palace.

And she indicated that a team from the authority’s branch in Al-Ahsa Governorate immediately started protection and renovation work for the damaged parts of the site, in coordination with the concerned authorities in the governorate, stressing that work is currently underway on a project to re-establish the site, and to complete the existing maintenance and restoration work, as part of a number of projects it is implementing. The commission for the protection and rehabilitation of a number of urban heritage sites in various regions of Saudi Arabia.

The authority indicated that all cultural heritage buildings and sites it owns will be subject to insurance to ensure their preservation, stressing its keenness to protect and activate all cultural heritage sites in Saudi Arabia, and to provide all requirements for their maintenance and sustainability, based on its responsibilities towards serving the national heritage in all its material and intangible forms.

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