Barzan Towers in Umm Salal Muhammed, Qatar

These beautiful towers dominate the desert skyline. For more than a century, they’ve provided a vantage point for both scanning the horizon for enemies and tracking the movements of the celestial world.

The towers were built in the late 1800s and renovated in 1910 during the reign of Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani. They served a dual purpose: In addition to being watchtowers installed to ward off off the possibility of another Ottoman invasion, the towers were also a site for...

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