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Yemen: Dar Al Hajar

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Dar Al Hajar | Yemen | Asia

[Visited: June 2004]

Coming from Suq al-Wadi, at one point it is inevitable that your eyes are drawn towards Dar al Hajar. While the wadi is an oasis of green and quiet not far from the capital San'a, the Rock Palace is its jewel, visible from many corners of the wadi. The closer you get, the higher it seems to become, until you reach the bottom and you have to put your head between your shoulders to be able to look up and admire the building.

Picture of Dar Al Hajar (Yemen): View from the roof of the Rock Palace or Dar al Hajar

What makes the building so attractive is perhaps because it is exemplary of Yemeni architecture, it seems to grow out of the rocks on which it is constructed, and it has the characteristic painting of its windows and edges. Furthermore, it is standing all alone and can be seen from all sides. Buying a ticket will grant you access to the palace. Walking up the many stairs brings you to various rooms: the kitchen, storage rooms, rooms for women, meeting rooms for high placed persons and friends of Imam Yahya who built the palace as a summer residence in the 1930s.

Picture of Dar Al Hajar (Yemen): Dar al Hajar or Rock Palace in Wadi Dhahr

There is a system to cool water in earthware jars, you can see takhrim windows from up close, there is a very deep well, and there are various spots where you can go outside. The views are marvellous as can be expected from such a daringly built palace. The palace was restored for visitors, but it was not turned into a museum. Its five floors offer enough to see. Walking around at its base is equally impressive and heightens your admiration for the stunning architecture the Yemenis are capable of.

Picture of Dar Al Hajar (Yemen): Dal al Hajar: view from the roof
Picture of Dar Al Hajar (Yemen): View from one of the sides of Dar al Hajar or Rock Palace
Picture of Dar Al Hajar (Yemen): Dar al Hajar or Rock Palace seen from below
Picture of Dar Al Hajar (Yemen): Dar al Hajar seems to grow out of the rocks
Picture of Dar Al Hajar (Yemen): System to cool water in jars at the Rock Palace or Dar al Hajar

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