Sana’a – صنعاء‎

Sana'a

SANA’A – صنعاء‎

The capital of the Republic of Yemen is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

Sana’a has a population of approximately 1,748,000 (2010) making it Yemen’s largest city.

The old city of Sana’a, which is included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, has a distinctive visual character due its unique architectural characteristics, most notably expressed in its multi-story buildings decorated with geometric patterns. The buildings indeed represent an incredible combination of Yemeni styles, often built with dark stones of basalt, bricks and mud. The windows of the external walls are decorated with alabaster ‘glass’, elaborated friezes and plastered with white gypsum.

The historical value of the city shows itself through well over 14,000 buildings, many of which dated back to 1000 CE.

Souq - Sana'a

From the city centre, a traveller can walk half a kilometre in any direction without seeing a single modern building, discovering a labyrinth of streets and districts still largely separated according to trade.

In the old town’s great Souq, one can find everything, beautiful jewels, shining clothes, fragrant incense and a wide variety of aromatic spices, not forgetting the legendary Jambiya, the curved dagger, symbol of honour and virility for every Yemeni man. Sana’a, the old city, with more than 50 mosques, minarets, luxurious gardens, hammams (public baths) and its unique souq (market), is the first jewel of Yemen and starting point for an incredible trip in this legendary land.

Dhamar – ذمار

Dhamar

DHAMAR – ذمار

The city of Dhamar is the administrative center and capital of the governorate.

As Dhamar city had a great role in the politic and trading life in Yemen. It had a very important historical role in Yemen before the Islamic age. The antique Yemeni engravings mentioned Dhamar city as being a very famous center of the Islamic studies and sciences, and many of the great scientists are attributed to this historical town.

The town is still famous in Yemen for its numerous historical mosques and schools, which are distinguished by their beautiful characteristic architecture in harmony with the colors of its volcano land.

The main attractions are The Grand Mosque, Al-Shamsiah School and Hirran fortress.

Dhamar Grand Mosque is considered one of the oldest mosques in Yemen after Sanaa Grand Mosque. Dhamar’s Grand Mosque still remains in a good condition. The cohesive building pattern and the use of strong stones helped in keeping the mosque in its present state. The Islamic decorative artistic elements are still in their ancient condition without deformation. There is in the mosque a rare wooden pulpit in a good condition and is considered one of the masterpieces of Islamic wood carving art. The wall of the minaret’s foundation is built by old stones bearing inscriptions in al-Masnad calligraphy which were carried from ancient ruins.

Al-Shamsiah School is considered one of the most important Islamic vestiges which are still frequented. It is located in Al-Jarajish Quarter and was built by Al-Imam al-Mutawakell Yehya Sharaf el-Din Ben al-Mahdi Ahmad, who ruled during the period 912-965 H / 1506-1557 A.D. Students of sciences used to visit it each year coming from the various regions in addition to the students of the city itself and from its neighborhoods. Science students coming to Dhamar were known as immigrants and lived in rooms annexed to al-Shamsiah School. Some of these houses were known by the names of families which inherited residence rights in them. Most students lived supported by the city’s notables. Despite the coarse living standards these students acquired a great amount of knowledge. A great number of scientists that are difficult to enumerate studied in this school since its establishment.

Al-Shamsiah School still exists and is in a good condition as well as the annexes attached to it.

Hirran fortress is located to the north of Dhamar City at a distance of 2 kms. This fortress still functions. It is built on a volcanic mountain where were established inhabited villages and elevated palaces of the Himyari era.

Hirran Fortress is considered one of the three important fortresses surrounding the city of Dhamar beside Yafa’ fortress to the west and Bab al-Ghilal fortress to the east. Archaeological evidences scattered at the surface of the site witness that the fortress was inhabited during various time periods dating back to the pre-historic age, pre-Islamic age and to the consecutive periods of the Islamic civilization.

Taiz – Ta’izz – تعز

Taiz city Yemen

TAIZ – TA’IZZ – تعز

Taiz is a tremendously energetic city. It has been inhabited since pre-Islamic times and has been a capital for various periods during its history. Today it is a centre of modern industry and commerce and buzzes with life.

Taiz City is considered one of the largest cities in Yemen that played significant role in the history of Yemen in different stages.

The citadel, perched on its own volcanic cone, is tucked under the cliffs of the 3,200 m high Jabal Sabir, a granite mountain.

Taiz lies in the heart of a rich agricultural region where intensive cultivation on terraces takes advantage of torrential summer rains, so an abundance of locally grown foodstuffs is always available. Being warmer than Sana’a in the winter and cooler than Aden in the summer, Taiz has long been a place of seasonal refuge.

Castle Garden Taiz, Yemen

Do not leave without visiting the Al-Quahira Castle: the castle is located at foot of Jabal Sabir, on the rocky elevation overseeing Ta’iz. The naming “Ta’iz” was especially for the castle, and then it was known as Al-Quahira. Its construction dates back to the era of the Salihid State (436-532 AH / 1045-1138 AD). It was built by Sultan Abdallah bin Mohamad Al-Salihi, the brother of the king Ali bin Mohamad Al-Salihi, the founder of the Salihid State. The castle is made up of a path up leading to the main gate, and a wall. Within the wall are many buildings, which were once castles and their complements, inhabited by the Salihids, then the Rasulids. It became the center for the king Al-Mothfer Youssef bin ‘Amr bin Ali Rasoul. The following states occupied it one after the other. Later it then became a military base for the Ministry of Defense.

Much of the thirteenth-century wall of the city has disappeared although two of the major gates, Bab Musa and Bab al-Kabir, still remain. The old souq (market) is reached through Bab al-Kabir. Although not as impressive as the Sana’a souq, it has some interesting goods including baskets, embroidery and pottery and, not least, good and reasonably priced silver shops – probably the best in Yemen. However, the four Rasulid mosques are the city’s most important feature. The two finest and oldest are superb examples are Al-Muzaffar, in the centre of the city, and Al-Ashrafiya. Both are equipped with minarets and built around courtyards with domes. The structures show Turkish-Syrian influence, while the wonderfully decorated interiors and the superb calligraphy that is inscribed therein, recall Persian, Egyptian and even Moorish-Andalusian work.

Many parks hug the city of Taiz from all sides. Taiz offers its hugging. Taiz is ready to welcome you.