The Barzan Towers, locally also known as the Umm Salal Mohammed Fortress, are situated in the village of Umm Salal Mohammed in the municipality of Umm Salal in Qatar. The municipality is also spelled as Umm Slal. They are not to be confused with the Umm Salal Muhammad Fort, which is a complex of fortified domestic buildings some 900 meters to the west, on the other side of the village.
The Barzan Towers were built in 1910 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani, also the village founder. It is thought they were built to monitor the fleet of pearl divers and to watch out for pirates. Some also think they might have been used as a moon observatory. Both the towers are some 14 meters high.
The name 'Barzan' translates to 'high place'. Originally 'Barzan' was only the name of the west tower. The east tower was named Al Burj Al Sharqi. They were referred to in the 1970's as the ‘Turkish fort’ which suggest they may have been garrisoned by a policing force from the Turkish occupation which finished in 1914.
I read that there should also be another tower to the north that, together with these towers and the fort to the west, would form a defensive system guarding a low-lying area where water would accumulate after rains, but I was not able not find it.
Sometime between the 1970's and 2008 the towers were completely rebuilt. For I have seen pictures from the 1970's in which both towers were completely ruined. Recently the towers were given a whitewash. Before that they were a kind of brown.
Although on the internet it is said that the towers are freely accessbile, the park in which they are situated was closed when I visited. Two beautiful towers.