Although it is one of Bahrain's most important historical sites, Bahrain Fort really doesn't get near as much attention as it deserves. Although very near to downtown Manama, the fort feels very isolated from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Bahrain.
The actual fort was built around the early 1500's, but the whole site is an archaeological treasure; recent excavation work has shown it to be composed of layer over layer of settlements, the earliest dating back to somewhere around 2300BC, when the area was the capital of Dilmun (the ancient civilization that existed on the island).
The fort itself was built by the Portuguese as a military base, as they took over Bahrain to help protect their trade routes between India, Africa and Europe.
Although quite eroded, you can still see and get an idea of what the old settlements used to look like. The view from the top of the fort is also a beauty and a bit of a contrast, as one side faces old villages and greenery, while the other looks at the fast rising towers and developments of Manama.
I personally love visiting the area; it gives you a glimpse in what Bahrain was like only a few decades ago. Bahrain was labeled the Island of a Million Palm Trees back then, but nowadays you see most of it displaced to make way for new buildings, towers and so on. Visiting Bahrain Fort takes you right out of the urban development and back to a simpler time, where the surrounding villages are covered in lush greenery and palm trees, while the houses are reminiscent of the older days.
The fort is open to visitors between 8:00am and 8:00pm throughout the week, and entrance is free.