Another of Saudi’s great holy sites
Second only to Mecca in terms of importance, Medina is another city that sits at the very heart of Islam
Medina is the second holiest city in Islam, found in the western part of Saudi Arabia, some 140kms inland from its Red Sea coastline. Alongside Mecca it is one of the most important spots on the Haji and Umrah Pilgrimages, welcoming millions of visitors from all across the Islamic world each year. The city is centred around Al Masjid an Nabawi – the Prophet’s Mosque – which was constructed by the Prophet Mohammed and marks his burial place. The Mosque dates from 622 AD which the year when the Islamic calendar starts. Also known as Al Medina Al Munawwarah or “The Enlightened City” its significance in the Prophet Mohammed’s life makes a visit here a lifelong dream for many Muslims.
Aside from this, visitors to Medina like to make the journey to the Quba Mosque, built outside of the original city boundaries but now very much part if Medina. There is also an excellent market at Quba, selling traditional wares from all over the region including dates, perfumes and other local specialities.
A little further afield is Mount Uhud, an important site in Islamic history as it was the location of a famous battle between the Prophet Muhammed’s troops and soldiers from Mecca. At 1,077 metres, the mountain is eminently climbable and offers an amazing view over the battlefield. The Uhud Martyrs Cemetery is a memorial to the 85 soldiers who died in the battle.
In keeping with religious tradition, Medina is a site for Muslim visitors only and is not open to members of other faiths.
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