Qasr Al-Hokm, the Riyadh park with a difference
The Saudi capital boasts many public parks which draw residents and foreigners alike not only because of their recreational facilities but also for the unique architectural designs as well as history.
These include the public parks such as Qasr Al-Hokm, which remains at the center of old Riyadh.
“Many of the parks in Riyadh have green trees and neatly manicured grass. But Qasr Al-Hokm Park is different. It retains the traditional architectural elements of old Riyadh in a modern setting,” said Eric P. Asi, an engineer who works for a local firm.
He said that he brings his family there not only to while away time but also to appreciate and drink in the beauty and silent artistry of the place.
“The modern and traditional elements are reflected in the buildings around the park as well as by the verdant date trees planted in symmetrical rows,” he said.
Eller B. Mendoza, an architect at Al-Munirah Contracting Est., added that the view of the park keys up the mind into a moment of reflective thought.
“If you go there early in the afternoon, you will notice the cleanliness of the park adorned with green date trees which provide a welcome relief from the hot sun,” he said, adding that the “view is almost picture perfect.”
He said that his small children love to play in the park and he enjoys the late afternoons when dusk gradually envelopes the park with its gold and orange hues.
“The great thing about this park is that my children get to meet many kids their age who love to bike or skate here,” he noted.
A Bangladeshi managing a store near the park added: “I make good sales on water or sodas because of the many children playing in the park in the late afternoons and especially on weekends.”
Muhammed Haider, a Pakistani who works for a local firm, said: “Qasr Al-Hokm Park is not only a favorite haunt of Saudis and foreigners, it also makes you revisit history. So when you are here, you have, as it were, a rendezvous with history.”
He added that the unique blend of artistry, entertainment and history is an irresistible attraction for visitors.
Qasr Al-Hokm became the first base for a Saudi state in 1810, when Imam Turki bin Abdullah moved to Riyadh and established it as his capital.
“He built the wall around the city to protect its residents from external attack and erected a ‘Qasr,’ or fortified palace, in the heart of the town which was used as a seat of government,” he said.
Qasr Al-Hokm, which is not far from the commercial district of Batha, is bordered by Imam Turki bin Abdullah Street, King Faisal Street to the east and King Fahd Road to the west.