The North

Dhi Bin and Zafar

Dhi Bin is a very pretty site to visit because of its mosque and ablution cisterns. From here a two hour climb will bring the visitor to Zafar.   This was one of the early capitals of the Islamic Yemen.  It was found by Imam Mansur in the XI C.

Ruins of Castles, Palaces and Mosques are strewn around the landscape to be visited.   The water cisterns of Zafar are unique to this ancient abandoned city.

 Bayt al AshwalDafar

It is a small village, which was built between X – XII C after the destruction of the capital of Himiyar Kingdom of Zafar.   All the houses were built with the ruins of the houses of Zafar. It is close to Zafar.


Naet is a Himyar site dating to the 1 C A D.   It lies in a dramatic setting of harsh, black volcanic rock, here more than anywhere.   It is evident how the Yemeni have re-used the ancient pillars and inscribed blocks to construct their more modern houses.


Huth is the biggest village before Saada. This is the last village along the road north, that is built entirely on stone. That harsh, angular construction gives away to the adobe buildings, typical of Saada.


Shahara was built by the rulers of Yemen for their protection during times of war as an impenetrable fortress at a height of 3000 mtrs.   Its renowned arched bridge made entirely of stone was built during XVII C by a Yemeni architect.   The main mosque and ablution cistern of Shahara should also be seen.


This was the first capital of Islamic Yemen. The Zayidi Imam dynasty began.   Saada is famous for its clay architecture.   The city is entirely surrounded by mud walls, upon which the visitors can walk.   Of course, modern buildings have risen over the recent years belittling its original charm.   However, a short drive to the surrounding villages transports the visitors immediately back to the ancient times. The Saada region is full of grape vineyards.   The black grape is the finest.


Once famous for it castle used during the Zaydi Imamate as a prison.   Hajja is today one of the major town of Yemen.   It is renowned for its fine weather and its sites on a hill side.   The visitors should see the old suq and the former palace of the Imam.


An off-bitumen road leads to the village of Mabian over the mountains.   Tourists can spend time walking through a mountain-top village with its original almost archaic, architecture.   Tourists can purchase lunch at the local market and eat in the shade of the trees before returning to Hajja.


Amran is the principle town of the Amran plane and it is on the way to the North. Here the visitors can find some of the finest clay architecture close to Sanaa.   The site is of pre-islamic origin while its walls are medieval times.


The road linking Hajja to Sanaa offers a landscape that is one of the most spectacular in Yemen.   The road winds through the mountains and across the valleys.   A visit to Kohlan, the main mountain village of the area should not be missed.   It will offer the visitors a superb view of the region.

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