Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, is situated in a mountain valley at an altitude of 2,300m and has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years. It was one of the few cities that existed when there were only tents to be found in the Arabian Peninsula. It is therefore considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
However I did not just decide to go to Yemen on holiday. I was fortunate to visit for a work trip but being a young foreign female I had bodyguards to accompany me; scary yet exciting at the same time for the adventure seeker in me.
One afternoon, my only sightseeing time, my bodyguards played tour guides and took me through Old Sana'a. I seem to have a knack for visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites. Old Sana'a was no exception, it was declared a World Heritage site in 1986. It was an experience like no other but a place I would love to revisit once it becomes politically stable.
Before even entering the gateway I was pointed to the top of the right entry gate - the big hole was the result of a bomb attack.
Old Sana'a's many multi-storeyed houses that were built of compact earth and geometric patterns add to the beauty of the city and are very well preserved today despite modern versions being built outside of the old city for the expanding population. The city was also major centre for the propaganda of Islam in the 7th-8th centuries and this was visibly seen in the design of the various mosques, hammams and thousands of houses; all built before the 11th century and still inhabited today.
Amazed by the historical architecture, here are some photos of these old yet well maintained buildings within Old Sana'a.