The streets are broader than those in most eastern towns. The
only public place is in front of the castle, a large open space which
serves for a market.
At present, Tayf may be described as in a state of ruin, for but few
houses are in complete repair. Many of the buildings were destroyed by
the Wahabys, when they took the town, in 1802; and as it has been almost
abandoned since that period, every thing is hastening to decay. I saw
two small mosques; the best, that of the Henoud, or Indians. The tomb of
El Abbas, which had a good dome over it, and was often visited by
pilgrims, has been entirely
[p.85] destroyed by the Wahabys. Excepting four or five buildings, now
inhabited by the principal officers of the Pasha, I saw none above the
most common size.
Tayf is supplied with water from two copious wells, one of which is
within the walls, and the other just before one of the gates. The water
is well-tasted, but heavy. The town is celebrated all over Arabia for
its beautiful gardens; but these are situated at the foot of the
mountains which encircle the sandy plain. I did not see any gardens, nor
even a single tree within the walls; and the immediate neighbourhood is
entirely destitute of verdure, which renders a residence here as
melancholy as in any other city of Arabia.