During Mussolini's time, Italy invested a lot of capital and manpower in embellishing Eritrea's capital. Asmara was even dubbed Piccola Roma, although it of course never attained the historical importance of Italy's capital. Still, the Italians made Asmara a gem among African capitals, and this can be appreciated to present days. After the Italian period, also other western architects experimented with styles and it is thus possible to walk for hours in Asmara admiring curious and beautiful buildings.
Apart from the architecture, the city was also consciously planned and this planning still makes for an orderly city rarely seen elsewhere in this continent. It also makes visiting architectural highlights easy. One area was where Italian businessmen and well-off people lived. It is the area where many villas are now used as embassies, hotels, or schools. This part of Asmara has quiet corners, squares, trees and flowers, and it is a true pleasure walking around it and appreciating the beauty of it all. Best of all, it is possible to stay in these villas as some of them are now being used as hotels or guesthouses.
Then there is the Liberation Avenue area, which is the place of many official buildings, larger and more formal than those in the residential area. Here, you can find the Cathedral, clearly following the example of Northern Italy's church building of the Middle Ages, the Opera House, the Ministry of Education, the Cinema Impero, and some other noteworthy buildings. Then there are other houses and constructions scattered all over town which are worth to be seen.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Asmara Architecture (Eritrea). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Asmara Architecture. Read more about this site.