Al Farid Tomb – The Lonely Castle

Among the many ruins located in the archeological playground of Mada’in Saleh, one literally stands alone. Carved into a massive boulder, Qasr al-Farid, or “The Lonely Castle,” is a stunning ancient structure that rivals the majesty of any carved architecture in the world.

Created around the 1st century CE, the tall facade was never actually finished. The description of the site as a “castle” is misleading, as the grand carving is actually a tomb that was built as part of the ancient Nabatean site of Hegra. The Nabateans had a unique construction technique that saw their tombs being chiseled right out of the rock from the top down. Such is the case with Qasr al-Farid, although the monument appears to never have been completed, so the craftsmanship and precision of work slowly deteriorate closer to the base of the structure.

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