Rewind: the fascinating old city of Sana’a


Yemen is an Arab country located in Southwest Asia. It is rich in cultural heritage and presents some really incredible landscapes.


The capital city of Yemen is Sana’a, which is considered to be amongst the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

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According to a popular legend, the city of Sana’a was founded by Noah’s son, Shem; and at that time Sana’a was known as “Azal”. Its current name derives from a South Arabian word that translated means “well-fortified”.

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Today Sana’a is included under the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites List (since 1986) for featuring unique architectural characteristics, most notably expressed in its multi-storey buildings decorated with geometric patterns.


Indeed, thanks to these old constructions, the city of Sana’a is a magical place to be as it seems like time stopped over there, and the entire area is still “stuck” in the ancient times.

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Sana’a has been inhabited for over 2,500 years, and despite the long life, this city presents some of the oldest buildings in the world almost perfectly preserved. The Samsarh and the Great Mosque of Sana’a, for example, are more than 1,400 years old and their structure is still perfectly intact.


Among the most popular attractions there is the Suq al-Milh—Salt Market—the perfect place to buy salt, bread, spices, raisins, cotton, copper, pottery, silverware, and antiques.

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Another must-visit when in Sana’a is the Jami’ al-Kabir—Great Mosque— one of the oldest mosques in the world; it can be dated back to the 7th century.

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The Bāb al-Yaman—Yemen Gate—is also something that needs to be seen. This is an ancient entry point to the city and it is more than 1,000 years old.

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I could go on for days listing down all the different buildings and places that you must see when in Sana’a, however, I figured that showing you photos of those places would be much more interesting for you. So take a look the following shots, which will give you a glimpse of the wonderful, stunning and fascinating cultural heritage of Sana’a.

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(All the photos are taken from, and all belong to their original owners)

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