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SanaŠ (Template:Lang-ar, romanized as Template:Unicode, and also known as Sana or Sana'a), population 1,303,000 (2000), is the capital of Yemen. SanaŠ is located at 15°21'17" North, 44°12'24" East (15.354722, 44.20667). [1] (http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/cntry_files.html)

Contents

Geography

Sana'a lies in the heart of Yemeni highlands on a plateau at an altitude of 2200m surrounded by several by mountains notably Jabal Nugum and Aiban. The city is around 320 Km north of Aden.

History

Sana’a is one of the ancient Yemen cities dating date back to the Sabean dynasty. The oldest reference to it existence is found in inscriptions which date back to the 1st Century AD. It is suggested that Sana’a was the capital of the Himyarite kingdom at the onset of the 6th Century AD.

When King Yousef Athar (or Dhu Nuwas), the last of the Himyarite kings, was in power Sana'a was also the capital of the Ethiopian viceroys, then after 570 of the Persians.

As of the dawn of Islam until the detachment of independent sub-states in many parts of Yemen Islamic Caliphate, Sana’a persisted as the governing seat, who himself is Caliph’s deputy in running the affairs of one of Yemen’s Three Makhalifs: Mikhlaf Sana’a, Mikhlaf Al-Janad and Mikhlaf Hadhramawt, The city of Sana’a recurrently assumed an important status and all Yemenite States competed to control it.

The Mamelukes arrived in Yemen in AD 1517. Following the collapse of the Mamelukes in Egypt at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, Yemen fell under the Ottoman Rule and during the first Ottoman rule of Yemen between 1538-1635 Sana’a became the capital of the Ottoman Vilayet and also during the Ottaman second rule 1872-1918. In 1918, Sana’a was the capital of Imam Yehya, who ruled North Yemen. At the onset of the 1962 revolution which deposed the imamate rule, it became the capital of the Arab Republic of Yemen. It was then the capital of unified Yemen in 1990 where it is dubbed as the historical capital of Yemen.

Attractions and Culture

Old City

The old, fortified city has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years and contains a wealth of intact architectural gems. It have been declared a World Heritage City by the United Nations in 1984. Efforts are underway to preserve some of the oldest buildings, some of which are over 400 years old. Surrounded by ancient clay walls which stand six to nine metres (20-30ft) high, the old city boosts over 100 mosques, 12 hammams (baths) and 6500 houses. Many of the houses look rather like ancient skyscrapers – reaching several storeys high and topped with flat roofs, they are decorated with elaborate friezes and intricately carved windows. One of the most popular attractions is Suq al-Milh (Salt Market), where it is possible to buy not only salt but also bread, spices, raisins, cotton, copper, pottery, silverware, antiques, and a host of other goods. The majestic seventh century al-Jami’al-Kabir (The Great Mosque) is one of the oldest in the Muslim world. Bab al-Yaman (Yemen Gate) is an iconized entry point through the city walls and is over 700 years old.

Cultural Arab Capital

Sana'a was designated as the Arab Cultural Capital for the year of 2004. Notable cultural activities included a musical concert by the European Philharmonic Orchestra of Magdeburg, Germany.

Quotes and Impressions

"Template:Unicode" (SanaŠ must be seen) are famous words first attributed to Template:Unicode (768-820) who visited the ancient capital several times.

Many travelers in ancient days were impressed by the beauty of SanaŠ. The well-known Yemeni geographer and historian Al Hamdani marveled at the cleanliness of the city:

The least dwelling there has a well or two, a garden and long cesspits separate from each other, empty of ordure, without smell or evil odors, because of the hard concrete (adobe and Cob probably) and fine pasture-land and clean places to walk.

The Persian traveller Ibn Rustah a contemporary of Al Hamdani noted its food,

It is the city of Yemen—there not being found ... a city greater, more populous or more prosperous, of nobler origin or more delicious food than it ...

External links

da:SanaŠ de:Sana'a fr:Sanaa he:צנעא it:San'a nl:Sanaa ja:サヌア pl:Sana pt:Sana sk:SanŠ fi:SanaŠ sv:Sana

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