Al-Raudha,Manakha area,Al-Hoteip,Al-Mahweet,Ibb,Shibam Sana'a,Kawkaban,Thula/Hababah,Al-Tawilah,Al-Hodeidah,Al-Hajarain
citad Wadi Hadhramaut,Wadi Dhabab,Djiblah,Dhafar,Al-Udein,Shaharah,Al-Mukalla
in Hadhramaut,Damt Sayun,Tarim,Wadi Dau'an
capital of the Yemen Republic, is said by the Arabs to have been founded by
Noah's son Shem. Its Great Mosque, one of the oldest in the Islamic world, was
founded in the 7th century during Mohammed's lifetime.
of the mosque date from pre-Islamic times, and although it has been restored
many times, the building which remains still shows evidence of Sabean
What to see in
City: This contains houses which are more than 400 years old, built of dark
basalt stone and decorated with intricate friezework. The old city wall is
extremely well preserved.
Suq al-Milh: The best time
to visit Sana'a's main souk is in the morning or between 6 and 7 pm, when it is
full of activity. The name Souk al-Milh means Salt Market, but actually a wide
variety of goods are on sale, such as spices, vegetables, corn, qat, pottery,
raisins, copper, woodwork and clothing.
The National Museum is
located next to al-Mutwakil mosque, about 100 metres north of Tahrir Square. The
House of Good Luck (Dar as-Sa'd) in which it is housed, was once a royal palace
dating from the 1930s. The museum contains artefacts from the ancient kingdoms
of Saba, Ma'rib, Ma'in and Himyar, and is open daily from 9 am till 12 noon and
from 3 till 5 pm. Fridays: mornings only.
wadi, about 15 km north of Sana'a, with small villages and clay-walled
orchards, which grows grapes, apricots, peaches, pomegranates, and nuts. It is
also renowned for a beautiful five-storey rock palace, Dar al-Hajar, which
belonged to the Imam Yahya during the early part of this century.
was built on the ruins of a prehistoric building and is now government
property. It remained empty until 1990, when a renovation project commenced.
Occasional visits are possible by special arrangement.
Literally the garden city
interesting the architecture of the Imam Gasim Mosque from the 17th cent. and
the rural clay houses made in the Sanaa
style and the vineyards, every Sunday - market.
important Turkish stronghold in days gone by and the center of the Haraz region
with the 3000 m high mountain Djabal Shibam.
An important picturesque
village, nestling in the mountains; goal of the Ismaeli pilgrims. Here you find
the grave mosque of DaI
al-Hatem Ibn Ibrahim al Hamdani, an ismaelitic saint of the 17th century.
Walking to / from Al Hoteip, pilgrimage place of Ismaeli sect.
The city of Al-Mahweet is
the capital. It is 181 kms to the north west of Sana'a and 2050 m high above
sea level. In this province, there are villages the mountain summits reflecting
how human beings could overcome the rigidity of nature. And among the important
historical villages on the way to Sana'a are:
Situated at the foot of the
mountain below the stronghold of Kawkaban, Shibam was once the capital of a
small, independent highland state. Ancient inscriptions can be found on the
stones of the city gate and in other old buildings of the town. In the nearby
mountainside, which rises to a height of 2850 m, there are man-made caves.
An important stronghold
during the Turkish occupation of lower regions of the Yemen, Kawkaban served to
protect the town of Shibam below. It is built at the summit of a 350-metre
cliff and the town's inhabitants were often evacuated there during times of
crisis. Kawkaban is about an hour's walk from Shibam, by means of a paved
footway, starting from behind the main mosque.
of pre-Islamic origin, situated along the ancient spice route, about 9 km north
of Shibam. There are many remarkable examples of stone architecture, including
tower houses, well-preserved aqueducts and splendidly carved water cisterns
near the northern and southern gates.
built at the foot of a mountain with a fortress at the summit. Near to Thula,
village Hababah with its impressive cisterns.
mountain village on the way to the coast - a once famous centre during Turkish
rule, visit of the city with its interesting old stone houses and souk.
The most famous harbor of
Yemen in the Red Seas and a widely known fishing region throughout the history
of mankind. It was used during the 15th century as a ship-fleet depot after
which it expanded from a small village to a local port. Later, one of the
Sultans defeated the Portuguese, and made the port free of their control. In
1961, the port was re-constructed to become a modern one.
Situated 60 kms from
Al-Hodeidah on Taiz-Hodeidah road, this was during the seventeenth and
eighteenth century the storage station of the coffee crop, which used to be
exported from Al-Mokha harbor. During those periods, the town prospered
through expansion of its dwellings and variations of its activities. Christine
Yanbour, a famous foreign explorer in 1763 A.D. described it by writing: "It
was the biggest commercial market in the world for coffee". He saw numerous
businessmen of Europe there, together with others from Persia, Turkey, Morocco,
India, and other countries, carrying out commercial transactions. It is
distinctive in its buildings being constructed out of plain red bricks. Its
people are known to wear short skirts known locally "Al-Lahafat", which are the
male costumes of the inhabitants living in all coastal regions of the two Asian
and African continents.
Traditionally a centre of
Islamic learning, Zabid was the site of an important early Islamic seminary and
there are still over 80 surviving medrese-mosques within the city, with more on
the outskirts. The narrow streets are flanked with traditionally decorated
houses with a prevalence of brick and stucco. Like those of Hodeida, the
buildings of Zabid are rarely more than two or three storeys high, with the
exception of the Governor's Palace. Founded, or reconstructed and enlarged, in
the early 9th century when the city became the capital of the Banu Ziyad
dynasty, Zabid kept its importance for seven centuries, until the Turkish
conquest. There is still a large Koranic school attached to the Great Mosque,
but the importance of Zabid has declined considerably in recent years.
This coastal town receives
tremendous tourist attraction since it is the most beautiful coast spot of the
Arabian Peninsula. Fishing village with palm woods along the Red Sea, swimming
is possible, facultative boat cruise in the Red Sea, diving possible.
In the 17th
and 18th century this was a flourishing trade port and main transfer place for
the coffee export. Impressive landscape along the coast between Al-Khokha and Al-Makha.
Yemeni Island after Socotra, widely populated. There are various rare animals in
A town situated in the
northern foothills of Jebel Saber (Mount Sabir). The former palace of Imam Ahmed
is now a museum. The city walls and gates, Bab Al Kabir and Bab Mosa, are
worth a visit. Its most important mosque is the Ashraffiya, with its two
decorated minarets, the Mudhaffariyah mosque. The souk is particularly
fascinating and unique because of the unveiled mountain girls who come every
morning to sell their goods.
It is a
tiny village north of Taiz, at a distance of 23 kms. At Al-Janad, there is the
Janad mosque, which is the second mosque built in Yemen.
It is a
tiny village where Sheikh Bin Al Wan tomb exists, and from which it derives its
fertile subtropical oasis is situated between Taiz and Yafrus. Every Sunday the
villagers of this region meet here at the market.
Ibb, 192 kms to the south
of Sana'a, and 2337 ms above sea level, is the most evergreen city in Yemen. It
is surrounded by Mount Ba'dan, which is considered to be a real beauty and
charm as an evergreen environment. The important areas in Ibb are:
km south of Ibb, on a hill of basalt between two connecting wadis, this is
another former capital of the Yemen from the Middle Ages. It was once the
chosen capital of Queen Arwa bint Ahmad (1067 A.D. to 1138 A.D.) who ruled here
for almost 70 years. The Mosque of Queen Arwa is also her tomb.
17 km from
Yareem city, was the capital of ancient Hymiarate state, founded on Mount
Dhu-Raidan. Some remains of it are now being housed in the Dhafar museum.
An area 40
kms away from Ibb, and famous for coffee agriculture.
situated on the summit of Mount Sumara and is 2800 m above sea level.
A wide area
with numerous pure water fountains, and mountain-sulphated hot water.
a number of sulphated hot water fountains. Nowadays, work is under way to
establish a natural health center in the area.
This is the largest wadi in
the Arabian peninsula. Situated about 160 km from the coast, it follows an
east-west route for about 160 km through the desert. The wadi bottom drops to a
depth of about 300 metres. The region is very fertile and the local population
lives on arable farming and goat-herding. There are several archaeological sites
in the region, which show signs of early settlement before the 3rd century A.D.
Situated in this cultural landscape are the three cities Shibam, Sayun
Shibam in Hadhramaut
It is called Safra'a, and
the "Manhattan of the desert" by the German explorer Hans Hellfritz. Its houses
are considered the first skyscrapers of the world. Here you find loam houses with 8 floors, 500 years old. After the destruction of Shabwa in the 3rd century
A. D., its habitants fled to Hadramaut and founded the city of Shibam. From 1983
Shibam has been under special protection from the UNESCO.
The biggest in size of all
cities, or towns, of Hadramout, with houses surrounded by green line of wide
parks and gardens, together with, date-farm yards and forests. One of its
well-known features is the Sultanate Palace known as "the Revolution Palace".
It consists of five floors each divided into several rooms, and accessories. It
has been transferred into a cultural center, archeology museum, and a
traditional museum for handicrafts and costumes. Another monument is the
Al-Ghalas castle which is one of the industrial complexes for wooden crafts,
clay-pots manufacturing and leather industries.
Tarim is situated 35 km
west of Seyun City and has been the spiritual centre of the Hadramaut since
its heyday between the 17th and 19th centuries. At that time young men used to
come from all over the Arabian Peninsula to study the holy scriptures. More than
300 mosques and religious schools developed to control the teaching activity,
though most are now closed. The teachings of orthodox Sunni Islam are still
taught in Tarim. Many of Tarim's buildings date to a building boom in the 19th
century when successful Arabian traders returned with their riches from
enterprises in Southeast Asia. The minaret of the al-Midhar mosque, is
remarkable. 64 metres high and square rather than round, it is built of mud
bricks. Unfortunately the mosque is now closed to non-Moslems.
There are several branch
wadis in Hadramout such as Wadi Dau'an, Al Ayn Wadi and Amad. Dau'an is
considered to be the most important and famous of all since there are many
attractive villages along both banks of the Wadi, which are considered
excellent examples of architecture in Yemen.
It is one
of the most beautiful Yemeni villages and the most beautiful village in
Hadramaut. It is the oldest village in Wadi Hadramaut over-looking groves of
the entrance of Wadi Amad, and on the east side of this city, there are ruins of
the temple of Goddess Seen, the main Goddess of old Hadramaut Kingdom.
village pilgrimage is made to the tomb of Shaikhan Bin Ahmed on 8-12th of Rabie
Al-Thani every year.
village was a main centre for old Yemeni caravans between the coast and the
valley and is 157 kms to the west of Seiyun.
This is a
seaport and fishing centre in the southern part of the Hadhramaut province, and
was founded in 1035 A.D. as a fishing village. The beautiful white buildings in
the old town are of interest to visitors and there are several impressive
mosques, notably ar-Rawdha and the Mosque of 'Umar. Outside the town a small
fortress, Husn al-Ghuwayzi, can be seen on the top of a cliff.
Aden is a natural port,
built on an old volcanic site and first used by the ancient Kingdom of Awsan
between the 5th and 7th centuries B.C. The port's convenient position on the
most important sea route between India and Europe, attracted the attention of
the rulers of many ancient kingdoms, all of whom sought to possess it at
various times throughout history.
Things to see
and places to visit in Aden
The Tanks of
Aden: 18 cisterns
dating from the 1st century A.D., when they were probably built by the
Himyarites. Situated high above the oldest part of the city on the volcanic
slopes, these cisterns can store up to 45 million litres of water.
in Crater, the old part of the city, the museum was once a sultan's palace and
contains many interesting archaeological finds, and the Ethnographical Museum
The capital of the Sabean
Kingdom dates back to the fifth century B.C. and one of Yemen's most impressive
archaeological sites. There are two dams worth a visit: the ancient one, dating
from about 10 B.C., and the modern one built in 1986. An area about 2 km
south-west of the old town is the site of the ancient temples of the Queen of
Marib Dam: This is
considered the symbol of Sheba kingdom and its dominant emblem, as it reflects
the zenith of its power, while marking at the same time its downfall. The Marib
Dam in brief is considered the most famous archeological monument of Yemen, and
the greatest technically constructed object of archeology ever constructed on
the Arabian Peninsula. Two of its main controlling water banks are still in
good shape today.
Ancient Temples of Marib:
a) Bilqis Shrine: The most
famous and important temple of Marib, with its original name "Awam Temple", and
generally called by the ancient Yemenies "Al-Shams (the sun) Temple". The
latter was the worshiping goddess of "Al-Maqa" - a term in the language of
Sheba, which meant the moon. Its design was planned as an oval-form of building
surrounded by a fencing-wall built from rocks and stones.
Temple: This is generally known today as the "Throne of Bilqis". Till now, only
few of the huge stone pillars related to this and above mentioned temple has
been positioned in the desert sands of Marib.
c) The region of Serwah:
There are ruins of archeological sites. This area is situated 120 kilometers
east of Sana'a. It was first taken by the Sheba kingdom as capital of rule, and
has the biggest ancient Yemeni sculptures and inscriptions collectively known as
the "victory" engraving design. Marib also has today its own revivals because
of the construction of the new
Marib Dam, after the 26 September Revolution, close to the ancient one. There are among
others petroleum and agricultural projects that are currently being carried out
in the province.
The most impressive of all
Yemen's ancient sites. Its fortified city wall is 14 metres high and is
constructed from a beautiful calcite stone, mined from neighbouring Djebel Yam
and carefully carved into blocks. Some of these massive blocks are also to be
found in one of the city's temples. Near the city there is a considerable
expansion of irrigated land. The alluvium carried by old canals has been
deposited in the surrounding fields to a depth of 12 metres. This area is
dissected by numerous water gates, and from a hilltop vantage point one can
easily trace the path of the ancient canals.
In ancient days, Barakesh
was known as Yathil and is first mentioned in a text written in the 5th century
B.C. At this time, Barakesh was one of three major caravan cities - the others
being Main (ancient name Qarnaw) and As Sawda (ancient Nashan). It was also the
closest city to the spice route. Barakesh was one of the cities which defied
the Roman army led by Aelius Gallus in 24 B.C., around the time of the collapse
of the Minean Kingdom. This collapse did not mean that the city was abandoned;
it was mentioned in Sabean text between the 1st and 3rd centuries A.D. There
can be no doubt, however, that its period of splendour was certainly over. The
city of Barakesh remained inhabited during the Middle Ages, but it seems that
it was abandoned at the end of the 18th century. This fact is borne out by
archaeological findings of ceramics and other ancient artefacts, which were
discovered under houses which had simply been built over older sites. Today the
ruins of Barakesh represent the most spectacular of Yemen's archaeological
province, the most important historical and tourist sites are:
and towns as Beihan, Habban and Azzan;
- Beir Ali coast; and
Al-Radhm natural swimming bath, to which the hot mineral-water springs are
flowing down, and are known to cure some skin diseases and/or infections. On
the other hand, the province is today one of the petroleum locations in the
country. There are many international firms exploring crude-oil, which are